ST. LOUIS (AP) -- After 13 straight losses in regulation, an
overtime setback represented progress for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The NHL's worst team rallied from a two-goal deficit before Eric
Boguniecki scored with 2:54 left in the extra period to lift the
St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 victory Saturday night.
"It was very important for us to play well," Penguins forward
Brian Holzinger said. "It was a momentum builder, no doubt about
it. Now it's up to us to keep this going."
Keith Tkachuk and Christian Backman also scored for the Blues,
who recovered in time to end a four-game losing streak at home. St.
Louis, also mired in a deep slump, won for only the second time in
12 games (2-9-1) and scored more than two goals for only the second
time in 13 games.
Coach Joel Quenneville will take the points, but grudgingly.
"When the game was on the line it was almost like we were
getting nervous and on our heels a little bit instead of
proactive," Quenneville said. "We'll take a win out of it and
hopefully that can help us, but we weren't crazy about how we
played the last half of the game."
The Penguins had two good chances in overtime, including a
backhander in front of the net by Holzinger that was stopped by
Chris Osgood, before Boguniecki got his fifth goal.
Elevated to the first line for the game as the latest ploy by
Quenneville, Boguniecki stopped a weak point shot from Eric
Weinrich with his stick in front of the net and then slipped the
puck around Sebastien Caron.
"Those are the ones that go in, the stupid ugly ones,"
Boguniecki said. "That's how it is. The shot you think you're
going to score on usually doesn't go in."
Holzinger called it a "heartbreaking" goal.
Ryan Malone had tied it early in the third period for the
Penguins with his fourth goal in three games, and Ted Kotsopoulos
also scored in the second period.
Power-play goals in the first period by Tkachuk and Backman
ended the Blues' 1-for-33 slump with the man advantage.
"The power play started off really good," Backman said. "I
thought we played great the first half of the game, and when they
scored their first goal we just stopped playing. I don't know
Malone took advantage of a dump-in pass that got caught in Chris
Pronger's skates, swooping in and then around the defenseman for
the tying goal at 1:44 of the third. The Penguins have 31 points in
58 games, by far the lowest total in the NHL.
The Blues entered having scored only 17 goals in the previous 13
games. The four-game losing streak at home was their longest slump
since they dropped five in a row from Jan. 21-Feb. 13, 1999.
The Penguins have been outscored 63-30 during their 14-game
slump, scoring two or fewer goals in eight of the games. ... Blues
D Matt Walker was whistled for nine penalty minutes, two roughing
calls and a major for fighting, in the first 11:03 of his first
game of the season. Walker, making his debut after rehabbing from a
groin injury sustained in training camp, is the 14th defenseman
used by the team this season. ... Doug Weight assisted on the
Blues' first two goals, but has only one goal in his last 23 games.