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Blackhawks continue on a roll

©Associated Press
January 3, 2003

ST. LOUIS -- The only thing missing from an otherwise perfect night for the Blackhawks was another Jocelyn Thibault shutout.

Thibault made 28 saves and shut out the Blues before Cory Stillman scored at 6:35 of the third period of a 4-1 victory Thursday night. Thibault made his 14th straight start in goal after a 33-save effort in a 2-0 victory over the Kings on Monday and is 9-2-3 in that stretch.

"It's a typical game after two periods and you're ahead 4-0," Thibault said. "You kind of relax a little bit. You don't want to, but I guess it's part of the human spirit when you're up by a couple of goals to take it easy."

Kyle Calder had a goal and an assist as the Blackhawks ran their unbeaten streak to seven. Chicago has 44 points for third place in the Central, three behind the Blues.

SENATORS 8, THRASHERS 1: Marian Hossa had a career-high and team-record four goals, including three straight in the first period, to lead financially troubled host Ottawa.

Ottawa, which leads the Eastern Conference with 53 points, played its first game after failing to meet player payroll after a complex refinancing deal fell through two days before.

Todd White, Jody Hull, Shaun Van Allen and Radek Bonk also scored for the Senators, who have lost only three of their past 26 games (19-3-4-0).

It was Hossa's fourth hat trick. He scored on Ottawa's third, fifth and seventh shots, as the Senators took a 4-0 lead and chased Atlanta goalie Byron Dafoe 12:03 in.

"You can't really control what's going around, we just can control our job and that's what we did tonight," Hossa said. "The bounces went my way. Every shot went in for me."

Hossa got his third hat trick of the season. He added his fourth goal of the game and 25th overall against Milan Hnilicka at 6:02 of the second period.

CANUCKS 3, CANADIENS 2: Markus Naslund scored twice for host Vancouver. Naslund gave Vancouver a 2-1 lead midway through the second, then added his league-leading 27th goal with 1:36 left in the period -- just 62 seconds after Richard Zednik tied it for Montreal. Naslund has six goals and five assists in his past six games.

PANTHERS 4, AVALANCHE 1: Viktor Kozlov scored two goals, Jani Hurme stopped 27 shots and Florida flexed its road muscle once more. Although it was only their second victory in the past seven games, the Panthers earned a point for a 14th straight road game. They are 6-0-4-4 in that span. Center Joe Sakic played after missing nine games with a sprained right ankle. ... Avalanche rookie forward Vaclav Nedorost was placed on injured reserve with a broken left hand, and defenseman D.J. Smith was recalled from AHL Hershey. Panthers defenseman Jamie Rivers was recalled from AHL San Antonio.

WILD 2, OILERS 1 (OT): Jim Dowd got a lucky bounce and credit for the winning goal with 44 seconds left in overtime. The puck deflected off the stick of host Edmonton defenseman Janne Niinimaa and got by Tommy Salo for Dowd's fourth goal to complete a Minnesota rally. Andrei Zyuzin scored with 2:06 left in regulation to the send the game into overtime.

FLYERS 4, KINGS 1: Keith Primeau and Andre Savage scored less than three minutes apart in the first period for visiting Philadelphia. Tomi Kallio got a fluke goal in his Flyers debut, one day after getting claimed off waivers from the Blue Jackets. Pavel Brendl also scored for the Flyers, who had more than two goals for only the second time in their last 10 games. Jeremy Roenick, Marty Murray and Kim Johnsson each had two assists. ... Kings center Bryan Smolinski was placed on injured reserve with a cut eye, joining seven injured teammates. Center Chris Schmidt was recalled from the AHL Manchester.

BLUE JACKETS: Defenseman Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre was placed on injured reserve with a fracture around his eye. The move was made retroactive to Sunday, when Grand-Pierre was hurt fighting in a 5-2 loss at St. Louis. Defenseman Jamie Allison was activated from injured reserve.

HURRICANES: Defenseman David Tanabe will miss at least a week after bruising his shoulder in Tuesday's loss to the Rangers. Defenseman Steve Halko was called up from AHL Lowell.

SABRES: Encouraged by the prospect of receiving public assistance, Mark Hamister sought a two-week extension from the league to buy the team. The Buffalo businessman's request came a day before a league-imposed deadline forcing Hamister and partner Todd Berman to relinquish exclusive rights to buy the team.

World Juniors

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- Bobby Goepfert made 22 saves as the United States advanced to play Canada tonight in the semifinals of the World Junior Championships with a 4-3 victory over the Czech Republic. The U.S. team improved to 4-1 in the tournament.

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