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NHL Stars Tugnutt, Hatcher hold off Sharks, 3-1



Published: Thu, February 20, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Dallas center Mike Modano was honored before the game.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DALLAS -- Ron Tugnutt and Derian Hatcher didn't like the way they felt after their last game.

So they made sure it didn't happen again.

Tugnutt, making his second start in place of injured All-Star Marty Turco, stopped 19 shots, and Hatcher had his first multipoint game of the season with a goal and an assist in the Stars' 3-1 victory over San Jose on Sunday night.

"Right now, we're at the point that when we lose a game, we take it personally and get mad. We didn't want to get outworked," Hatcher said. "They definitely got the jump on us, but we started to get going and started playing more of our game."

The Stars, coming off a 4-2 home loss to Anaheim on Friday night, reclaimed the top point total in the NHL by winning the lone game in the league Sunday, their third 3-1 win over San Jose this season. Dallas has 81 points, one more than Eastern Conference-leading Ottawa.

Dallas took a 1-0 lead when Ulf Dahlen scored while falling to the ice in the second period. Hatcher scored 90 seconds into the third and later assisted on Jere Lehtinen's goal.

San Jose has lost five of six, all on the road. The Sharks end their longest road trip of the season Monday night at Los Angeles.

Lacking energy

"We didn't have the energy to compete with a team like Dallas," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "We had it in spurts, but not on a consistent basis."

San Jose took 10 shots in the first period, with Tugnutt rejecting a point-black shot by Marco Sturm on a power play just two minutes in.

That set a positive tone for Tugnutt, who faced just 19 shots in the loss to Anaheim on Friday. But he kept the Stars from their third losing streak of the season.

"The first period for me was key, getting a couple of shots," Tugnutt said. "I had more of a relaxed feeling and was more focused. I prepared myself better today than at any time this year."

Tugnutt is 9-4-2 with a 2.37 goals-against average, and has won six of eight decisions. He's expected to get at least two more starts before Turco returns.

"They had some good chances early on, but he was our best player," said Stars center Mike Modano, who extended his scoring streak to four games with an assist on Dahlen's goal.

Dahlen worked the puck along the boards behind the net against Todd Harvey. As Dahlen made a move to the front, he fell down and took a swipe at the puck, knocking it between the legs of Miikka Kiprusoff for his 13th goal.

"We started the way we wanted to. We clogged the middle and we only let them have a few shots," Sharks center Vincent Damphousse said. "But then they score a goal and they're tough when they have the lead."

Modano's accomplishments

Before the game, Modano was recognized for his 1,000th career point, 600th assist and 1,000th NHL game, all reached this season. He was given crystal trophies and a silver stick listing the milestones, along with a customized chopper motorcycle.

Damphousse scored the only San Jose goal on a 5-on-3 midway through the third, finding the top right corner for his 16th goal 53 seconds into the power play to make it 2-1. But the Sharks failed to tie in the final 1:07 of the advantage.

The Sharks got the two-man advantage after Stephane Robidas was called for high-sticking, and then Claude Lemieux was called for the same infraction while Robidas' penalty was being enforced.

Hatcher assisted on Lehtinen's 23rd goal with 8:28 left. Lehtinen's one-timer into the right side of the net, just past Kiprusoff's glove, came after a nifty flipback pass from rookie Niko Kapanen.

Kiprusoff stopped 21 shots.




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