1/25/97 -- 1:27 AM


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Steve Sullivan scored a tie-breaking goal late in the second period, and all-star goaltender Martin Brodeur made 18 saves to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.

Sullivan scored his third of the season just 49 seconds after the Sharks had tied the game 1-1. Sullivan picked up a rebound at the top of the crease and slipped the puck under the pads of San Jose goalie Chris Terreri.

John MacLean added an empty-net goal, his 16th, at 19:17 of the third.

Valeri Zelepukin gave the Devils an early lead with a power-play goal at 4:45 of the first, scoring from the left side after taking a pass from Scott Stevens.

Zelepukin slipped the puck under the pads of former Devil Terreri, who still holds several New Jersey team goaltending records including wins (106) and ties (32). Stevens, who played in his eighth all-star game Saturday in San Jose, recorded his 201st career assist on the Zelepukin goal.

It was the 33rd time this season New Jersey has scored first in a game, tops in the NHL.

Stephen Goulla tied the game for the Sharks with his second goal of the season at 15:21 of the second period. Jeff Friesen drew the attention of the New Jersey defense, then made a pass across the slot to Guolla, who was left unguarded and had an open net.

The Devils allowed San Jose just 19 shots on goal, the fewest taken in a game this season by the Sharks.

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