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Blues win first game since Olympics

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- The St. Louis Blues were clearly tired
of their latest distinction: They were the only NHL team without a
win since the Olympics.

"It was a long time coming," said Scott Young, who had a goal
in the Blues' 2-0 win over the San Jose Sharks Wednesday night.

"If we can keep playing this way, we stand a chance," he
added.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Blues, who
are fighting to maintain their playoff position in the Western
Conference.

Brent Johnson stopped 18 shots in his fifth shutout of the
season for St. Louis, still dealing without top forwards Keith
Tkachuk and Doug Weight.

Weight has missed four games with a sprained right knee, while
Tkachuk has missed six games with a deep thigh bruise from his
Olympic play.

Evgeni Nabokov made 25 saves for the Sharks. Nabokov scored an
empty-net goal Sunday night in the Sharks' 7-4 victory over
Vancouver, a rare feat that was repeatedly shown Wednesday night to
the hometown fans on the video scoreboard.

Nabokov, last year's Calder Trophy winner, became just the
seventh goaltender in the NHL to score a goal, and the first to do
it on a power play.

He earned chants of "Nabby! Nabby!" from the crowd late in the
second period when he stopped a shot by Cory Stillman, who skated
in alone and tried to hammer the puck between Nabokov's skate and
the post.

The first two periods were mostly a defensive battle, with the
Blues taking 14 shots on Nabokov and the Sharks taking just eight
shots on Johnson.

"I think it was there for the taking for the team that wanted
it the most," Sharks center Vincent Damphousse said.

Young scored 1:37 into the third with a slap shot from more than
30 feet that sailed under Nabokov. Jamal Mayers scored an empty-net
goal with 40.1 seconds left.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Sharks, who
squandered a 5-on-3 opportunity to open the third period.

"It's not too hard to figure out how to score goals," said
clearly frustrated Sharks coach Darryl Sutter. "You shoot the puck
and you go to the net. If you're not shooting and going to the net,
you're not scoring, and that is no different from kids hockey to
the NHL."

The interaction between Blues captain Chris Pronger and Sharks
forward Teemu Selanne was closely watched after Pronger's menacing
comments when Canada defeated Finland in the Olympics. Pronger, on
the Canadian side, was unhappy about a check by Selanne, playing
for Finland, late in the match.

But there were no run-ins between the two on Wednesday. The most
significant flare-up between the teams came late in the second
period, when San Jose's Gary Suter and Blues winger Dallas Drake
threw punches to each earn five-minute majors.

Game notes
The Sharks recalled right wing Mike Craig from their AHL
affiliate in Cleveland on Wednesday. ... The Sharks placed Todd
Harvey on their injured list with a sore shoulder. ... The last
time Suter received a fighting major was in December 1991, when he
was with Calgary.