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Tootoo scores first point by Inuit in NHL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Dan Hamhuis and the Nashville Predators' special teams proved to be too much for the St. Louis Blues.

Jordin Tootoo got his first NHL point, Marek Zidlicky scored a
power-play goal and assisted on another and the Predators added a
short-handed goal, beating the Blues 4-1 Thursday night.

"Well, right off, their special teams are better than ours,"
the Blues' Al MacInnis said. "They are a team that works extremely
hard. The better team deserved the win."

Tootoo, the first person of Inuit descent to play in the league,
assisted on Hamhuis' power-play goal at 10:53 of the second. He
debuted with the Predators earlier this month.

"So far, he has had a very mature approach to the game,"
Nashville coach Barry Trotz said of Tootoo. "My main advice to him
has been to not change his game. I don't want him to lose his
focus. It's harder to stay in the NHL than it is to make it."

Zidlicky converted a pass from Andreas Johansson at the 8:18
mark of the first period, beating St. Louis goaltender Chris Osgood
on the stick side from close range.

Petr Cajanek scored on a shot from just inside the blue line,
beating Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun over the right shoulder
and tying the game at 8:47 of the second period.

The Predators regained the lead when Hamhuis scored the third
power-play goal of the game. He sent a one-timer past Osgood on the
glove side.

Trotz points to the play of Hamhuis, a rookie, as a key to the
Predators' success.

"Danny got a big goal for us," Trotz said. "He has a heavy
shot. When a goalie stops it, it hurts. It was a huge goal for us.
It got the momentum back for us.

"Hamhuis can play in more situations and contribute offensively
more than some of our past defensemen. He can play a lot of minutes
in a lot of different situations. That's why we drafted him with
our first pick."

Vladimir Orszagh scored a short-handed goal at 11:23 of the
third period, and Andreas Johansson, who also had an assist, scored
into an empty net at 18:22.

"Our special teams were terrible," Quenneville said. "Our
power play and our penalty kill were awful. We did some poor
things.

"Was it a lack of work? Was it a lack of intelligence? I don't
know. We didn't do the little things."

Vokoun stopped 30 shots for his second victory of the season.

"We got good efforts all around," Trotz said. "Tomas was real
big when he had to be. "Our special teams scored key goals. They
got the first goal in the game. And when St. Louis started to get
momentum back our special teams jumped up and did a really good
job."
^Notes:@ Dallas Drake made his regular-season debut for the Blues
wearing a half-face shield to protect a fractured bone under his
eye. ... Zidlicky has a modest two-game goal-scoring streak for the
Predators. He has points in all three games. ... Keith Tkachuk had
scored the Blues only three goals of the season entering the
Nashville game.