<
>

Blues score four power-play goals

1/2/2004

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Doug Weight passed off the credit just like he
dishes the puck.

Chris Pronger scored the first of St. Louis' four power-play
goals and Weight added three assists to spark the Blues to a 5-4
victory Thursday night over the New York Rangers.

"You know, I got great players around me," said Weight, who
has two goals and 13 assists in his last 10 games. "I just pass
the puck in the lanes and they bury the pucks. Really, the puck has
eyes right now and you've got to take advantage of that, especially
on the power play."

The Blues won for just the second time in seven games. The
Rangers, 3-2-0-1 in their last six, failed to win three straight
for the fifth time this season.

St. Louis is 5-1-1 in its last seven against the Rangers. Blues
coach Joel Quenneville earned his 300th NHL victory in the only
regular-season meeting between the teams.

"A win's a win and hey, I feel fortunate to be a part of it
here," Quenneville said. "We've always had good teams. It's
worked out very well for us. We'll share this as a team victory.
With the way this one ended, it won't be easy to forget."

Reinhard Divis started his second NHL game for the Blues after
being called up on Tuesday from Worcester of the AHL. In Tuesday's
7-2 loss to Philadelphia, Divis replaced Brent Johnson in the
second period and allowed four goals on 12 shots.

Divis faced 43 shots against the Rangers, who finished 1-for-7
on the power play. The Blues recorded 22 shots.

"I'm happy it's over," Divis said.

Despite getting outshot 16-5, the Blues led 2-1 after the first
period on a power-play goal and a short-handed goal. New York
outshot St. Louis 12-1 in the first seven minutes.

"We didn't deserve to be up 2-1, that's for sure," Quenneville
said. "We weren't sharp, mentally more than anything."

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead at 2:29 when Eric Lindros pushed the
puck against Divis' leg and then pushed it a second time to get it
over the goal line. Lindros has points in 14 of 17 games, scoring
four goals and adding 13 assists.

The Blues scored on their second shot at 11:33 when Pronger
one-timed a pass from Weight and scored from the top of the right
circle.

Mike Danton scored a short-handed goal with 0.6 seconds
remaining in the period. Rangers goalie Mike Dunham came out and
got a piece of Danton's slap shot from the top of the slot but it
went in for St. Louis' fifth short-handed goal this season. The
Blues are 6-0 this season when Danton registers a point.

"When I hit the red line, I saw there was about 3.2 seconds
left," Danton said. "I knew I had to get my feet moving so I
buried my head. When I got into good position, I let it go. I got a
bounce for once."

The Blues scored twice during a double minor for high-sticking
by Alex Kovalev in the second period. Eric Boguniecki scored his
first of the season when he tapped in a rebound of a shot by
Alexander Khavanov at 3:28 to make it 3-1.

Boguniecki was recalled Wednesday from a minor league
conditioning stint. He injured his shoulder during training camp.

The Blues made it 4-1 at 5:02 when Keith Tkachuk scored on a
slap shot from the slot. The Rangers then replaced Dunham with
backup Jussi Markkanen.

"I'm missing that big save," Dunham said. "That's the
difference with me right now."

New York got a goal back while on a two-man advantage when Petr
Nedved scored with a slap shot over Divis left shoulder at 6:47.
Defenseman Brian Leetch, playing in his 1,100th NHL game, earned an
assist on the goal. He has played the second most games in Rangers
history.

Scott Mellanby scored a power-play goal at 1:32 of the third
period. Mellanby deflected a slap shot by Weight, giving the Blues
a 5-2 lead.

New York added two late goals when Martin Rucinsky scored a
short-handed goal with 2:20 left and Leetch cut it to 5-4 at 19:43.

"The positive is that we didn't quit," Rangers coach Glen
Sather said. "We kept going. We could have tied this game."<
^Notes@: St. Louis is 4-2-3, 3-1-1 at home, on New Year's Day. ...
Blues G Chris Osgood missed his second consecutive game because of
a bruised right knee. ... Blues C Pavol Demitra is expected to
return next week following a concussion. ... Rangers D Darius
Kasparaitis missed his second straight game with a strained ribcage
muscle. ... Pronger's penalty in the second period sent him over
the 900-minute mark for his career.