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Ducks shut out Blues in shootout

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Chris Kunitz was the surprise shooter in
regulation, and that gave him a chance to score the game-winner.

Kunitz, who has only six goals and 11 points in 26 games, scored
twice in the Anaheim Mighty Ducks' 5-4 victory over the St. Louis
Blues on Saturday night.

Staying the hot hand, coach Randy Carlyle picked Kunitz in the
shootout and he was the only scorer.

"Just having the chance to put it on the line at the end with
the coach putting me out there was a lot of fun," Kunitz said.
"We needed the two points anyway it came and it was a great way to
get it."

Francois Beauchemin had three assists for the Ducks, who blew a
two-goal, third-period lead.

"It wasn't pretty," Carlyle said. "I'm sure both coaches are
not extremely happy with the way both teams played."

Anaheim scored an unusual goal in the second period when St.
Louis' Dean McAmmond's pass to the point went into an empty net
after sailing the length of the ice.

"I was fairly deflated," McAmmond said. "As for the rest of
the guys, I'm sure they weren't excited. But you know what, they
said 'Let's not let that beat us' and we battled back."

Kunitz scored in a two-goal, 10-second flurry in the first
period.

"He was firing it from everywhere," Blues goalie Curtis
Sanford said. "He got a couple of nice, high-shot goals and he
buried the one in the shootout, so he had a pretty good game."

The Blues had three power-play goals, including scores by Doug
Weight and Mike Sillinger in the third to tie it.

Kunitz, the second of three shooters in the shootout for the
Mighty Ducks, beat Sanford with a backhander. Jean-Sebastien
Giguere stopped McAmmond, Weight and Sillinger.

Sanford played for the first time since Dec. 16, when he
sustained a hip flexor after relieving Jason Bacashihua in the
first period.

"The coach looked over at me and told me to get in there and
the blood started pumping," Sanford said. "I felt real excited
just to get in there and get back at it."

Weight had a goal and two assists for the Blues, who have lost
three in a row at home and are 4-12-3 overall there.

The Ducks' third goal, McAmmond's gaffe, came after Sanford had
left for the bench during a delayed hooking call on Petr Sykora at
7:27 of the second. Vitaly Vishnevski, the last Ducks' player to
touch the puck, was credited with his first goal of the season,
putting Anaheim ahead 3-1.

Sanford was on the bench getting a drink when the puck went into
the net.

"It's funny how clean that one went in ... just right in the
middle of the net," Sanford said.

McAmmond partially atoned with his 12th goal later in the
period, when he scored on his own rebound.

The Blues scored on the game's opening salvo, with Jamal Mayers
netting a rebound at the 23-second mark. Anaheim took the lead with
two goals in a 10-second span by Andy McDonald and Kunitz, the
latter chasing Bacashihua.

Game notes
The Ducks won the season series 3-1. ... Blues F Simon
Gamache was a healthy scratch for the third straight game and D
Kevin Dallman for the eighth straight game. ... In four games, the
Ducks outscored the Blues 10-4 in the first period. ... The Blues
are 0-16-2 when trailing after two periods. ... Kunitz had one goal
and one assist in his previous eight games.