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St. Louis is 5-1-0-2 in last seven games

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Two big plays on one big shift by Eric Boguniecki broke up a tight game.

The St. Louis Blues' forward set up a pair of goals in a
44-second span of the third period, giving his team a two-goal
cushion in a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday
night.

"Anytime you get goals back to back that fast, that gives your
team a lot of energy," Boguniecki said. "We took possession of
that game."

Martin Rucinsky benefited from Boguniecki's forechecking and
beat rookie goalie Michael Leighton with a high backhander at 4:17
of the third to break a 1-1 tie.

"I got the cherry on the cake," Rucinsky said.

Alexander Khavanov scored on a one-timer off Boguniecki's setup
from behind the net at 5:01, with Rucinsky also assisting.

"Definitely, you don't expect two goals on you like that,''
Blackhawks coach Brian Sutter said. "Momentum can take you a long
ways. They just got on us for about two or three minutes and they
capitalized on it."

The Blues are 5-1-0-2 in their last seven games and pulled six
points ahead of the Blackhawks for second place in the Central
Division. The Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-1 on Jan. 2, also in St.
Louis, and had earned at least one point in 14 of 15 games
(7-1-4-3).

"After the second period we came in here and said, 'We owe
these guys,'" Rucinsky said. "The last time they embarrassed
us."

Dallas Drake also scored and Brent Johnson made 32 saves for the
Blues, who rallied after losing in overtime to the Islanders at
home on Thursday. St. Louis helped the scoring burst stand up by
holding the Blackhawks without a shot the first 7½ minutes of the
third period.

Lyle Odelein cut Chicago's gap to 3-2 with his fourth of the
season at 14:34 of the third, but Johnson denied Eric Daze on a
one-timer in front with 2:11 left. Rucinsky wrapped it up with an
empty-net goal with 30.5 seconds to go.

Mike Eastwood gave Chicago a 1-0 lead with his first goal in 30
games at 9:39 of the second period. Eastwood, who scored on a
deflection of Phil Housley's wrist shot from the point, was waived
by the Blues and claimed by the Blackhawks earlier this season. He
hadn't scored since Oct. 17.

"The guys made a great play coming up the ice and I just drove
it in," Eastwood said. "It bounced in off me, actually. It felt
good, sure, but we're here for a win and two points."

The Blues are 15-6-2-2 when their opponent scores first. Chicago
fell to 15-5-4-3 when scoring first.

Drake got his 10th goal, and first in six games, on a rebound
shot to tie it at 12:32 of the second. Drake said it helped that
the puck got caught in his jersey before falling at his feet.

Both teams' power play struggled in the scoreless first period,
the Blackhawks going 0-for-3 and the Blues 0-2. Unusually, there
were no penalties the rest of the way.

"That's great, I love that," Drake said. "Put that thing away
(whistle) as far as I'm concerned, and let us play. It provides for
a lot more exciting brand of hockey."

Several Blues players, and Keith Tkachuk in particular, were
highly critical of the officiating after a 3-2 loss to the
Islanders on Thursday. Tkachuk was called for four minor penalties
and drew a gross misconduct after that game.

Game notes
The Blackhawks began a stretch in which they play nine of
10 on the road. ... Blackhawks leading scorer Alexei Zhamnov missed
his second straight game because of an injured left hand. ... The
Blues are 2-4-1 in their last seven games against the Blackhawks,
but 5-2 in their last seven at home. ... The Blues have outscored
opponents 65-36 in the third period.