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Tkachuk, Boguniecki score twice for Blues

10/18/2002

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Curtis Sanford never expected his first NHL
game would be like this.

Sanford made his debut in relief of injured goalie Reinhard
Divis and made 12 saves in the St. Louis Blues' 7-1 victory
Thursday night over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Divis, also a rookie, left because of a groin injury with 52
seconds left in the first period after he stopped all 10 shots he
faced. Sanford allowed the only Columbus goal to Jaroslav Spacek
with 11.4 seconds remaining.

"It was good that there really wasn't time to get nervous,''
said Sanford, who helped kill off a two-man advantage as soon as he
entered the game. "It's better just to get thrown into the fire
right there.''

Keith Tkachuk and Eric Boguniecki each scored two goals for the
Blues.

The Blue Jackets, who have never won in six games in St. Louis,
lost their third straight game.

"It's very disappointing to lose the way we did,'' Columbus
coach Dave King said.

The Blues scored on three of their first five shots and led 3-0
just 7:11 in.

"Across the board, the contributions were great,'' Blues coach
Joel Quenneville said. "It was great to see us get out there early
and play with a lot more confidence as a team.''

Tkachuk broke out of a three-game scoreless streak with two
goals in the first period. He sent a wrist shot past Marc Denis at
1:21 to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead. The power-play goal came 24
seconds after Andrew Cassels was sent off for hooking.

Boguniecki made it 2-0 with his first NHL goal at 3:35.

"It was great to finally get one,'' Boguniecki said.

Tkachuk, who scored 38 goals last season, then added an even
strength goal off a scramble in front of the net to complete the
early rush.

Petr Cajanek added a goal and an assist for St. Louis, and Mike
Eastwood and Jamal Mayers also scored for the Blues.

The Blues outshot Columbus 33-23.

The crowd of 14,708 was well-below last years average of 18,507.
The Blues had 21 sellouts last season but have failed to sell out
any of their first four games this season.

The Blues entered just 1-for-17 on the power play. But they
scored on their first two power-play chances and finished
4-for-10.

Game notes
St. Louis is still without goaltenders Brent Johnson and
Fred Brathwaite. Johnson is bothered by a high ankle sprain and
will be out at least another 10 days. Brathwaite slightly pulled a
groin muscle in practice earlier this week and is day-to-day. ...
Four of the Blues' first seven goals this season were scored by
defensemen. ... The Blue Jackets are using rotating captains this
season. LW Ray Whitney will serve the first part of the season with
Geoff Sanderson and Luke Richardson as alternates. ... This was the
first of five meetings between the teams this season. ... Denis has
started all four games for Columbus this season. ... The Blues
recalled G Cody Rudkowsky from Worcester of the AHL after the game.