The former Montreal captain had a goal and two assists in the
Sharks' franchise-record eighth straight home victory, 4-3 over the
Canadiens on Wednesday night.
Damphousse was traded by the Canadiens in 1999, but he still
gets a thrill facing his hometown's storied franchise. The
36-year-old center hasn't lost much of his game during five seasons
in the relative anonymity of San Jose, as he demonstrated in an
"I know my parents are watching, and tons of friends back home
are watching," said Damphousse, who tied Yvan Cournoyer for 60th
on the NHL's career list with his 428th goal. "It's always going
to be a special game, especially when we only play them once a
San Jose hasn't lost at home since Jan. 22 against Phoenix.
Earlier in the season, the Sharks earned a point in 14 straight
Brad Stuart had a career-high three points with a goal and two
assists, and Marco Sturm and Niko Dimitrakos also scored in the
Sharks' fifth win in six games overall. San Jose snapped Montreal's
five-game winning streak with a season-high three power-play goals.
Evgeni Nabokov stopped 25 shots as the Pacific Division-leading
Sharks kept the heat on Detroit for the top spot in the Western
Conference, remaining four points behind the Red Wings. San Jose
moved into a tie for second place in the conference with the
Colorado Avalanche, who tied Vancouver 5-5.
"Obviously, we've got to be aware of who's behind us, but we've
got to look ahead, too," Stuart said. "I don't think we're just
looking to hang on in the Pacific Division. We're looking at the
whole Western Conference. If we take care of our games, we won't
have to be looking over our shoulder."
San Jose took a 4-2 lead with three goals in the second period.
Ribeiro scored a power-play goal from behind the net, bouncing the
puck off Nabokov's leg midway through the third, but the Sharks
hung on in the final minutes.
"At this stage of the season, we have to be better than that,"
Montreal coach Claude Julien said. "Some of the penalties we took
weren't very good, but your special teams have to come up big at
times. We need some better effort, more pride in doing the job
Right wing Alexei Kovalev, acquired by the Canadiens from the New York Rangers on Tuesday, watched from the press box. He'll be in the Montreal lineup Friday in Phoenix.
The Sharks also made a deal Wednesday, picking up veteran
defenseman Jason Marshall from Minnesota for a draft pick.
The Sharks scored in the opening seconds of two power plays in
the second period. Damphousse tipped home Stuart's shot, and Sturm
later scored a close-range goal on a pass from Damphousse.
When Dimitrakos ripped a long shot over Theodore's stick
shoulder late in the period, the Sharks were well on their way to
earning a point for the 27th time in their 32 home games.
"They're a hardworking team, and they created a lot of
opportunities, and we took some bad penalties," Theodore said.
"You put those together, and you see what happens. If we were late
on a play, or they tipped the puck, it went in."
Forwards Scott Thornton and Mike Ricci returned to the Sharks' lineup after missing Sunday's victory over St. Louis to rest minor injuries. ... Stuart got his 100th career assist. ... Former Sharks forward Niklas Sundstrom stayed home in Montreal with post-concussion syndrome. ... San Jose improved its first-period goal differential to 66-25 -- tops in the NHL.