SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ With his friends and family watching back home in
Quebec, Vincent Damphousse helped the San Jose Sharks remain dominant in his
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
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 impressive performance.
``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 year.''
San Jose hasn't lost at home since Jan. 22 against Phoenix. Earlier in the
season, the Sharks earned a point in 14 straight home games.
Brad Stuart had a career-high three points with a goal and two assists,
while 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.''
Yanic Perreault, Andrei Markov and Mike Ribeiro scored for the Canadiens,
28th in the NHL in penalty-killing on the road. Jose Theodore made 25 saves,
but those penalty-killing struggles were the difference in the opener of
Montreal's four-game road trip.
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 properly.''
Right wing Alex 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
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