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Quenneville paid off for sticking with Brathwaite

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Joel Quenneville talked himself out of another
goalie change, and the St. Louis Blues climbed out of an early hole
to rescue Fred Brathwaite.

Keith Tkachuk and Pavol Demitra each had two goals and an assist
Monday as the Blues rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the
Calgary Flames 5-3. The Blues won with Brathwaite, their backup
goalie who made his first start since Jan. 21.

Brent Johnson surrendered a three-goal lead in an overtime defeat against the Flyers on Tuesday and was pulled in the second period of a
5-3 setback against the Coyotes on Saturday.

Brathwaite allowed three goals on the Flames' first 11 shots in
the first period, but that was more a factor of the wide-open play
with each team getting several odd-man rushes. Still, coach
Quenneville considered going back to Johnson.

''I hate having to think like that,'' Quenneville said. ''It
crossed my mind, but we wanted to give Freddie the chance. You
never know at the end of the day but it worked out in our favor.''

Brathwaite was definitely worried that it might be a short night
in the nets.

''I wasn't too sure if I was coming or going or what was going
to happen,'' Brathwaite said. ''But Joel left me in there and gave
me a chance to battle back, and the guys rallied around me.''

Tyson Nash deflected the go-ahead goal off his skate and past
Roman Turek at 11:30 of the second period for the Central
Division-leading Blues, who swept the four-game season series from
the Flames and outscored them 17-8. Demitra had five goals and
three assists against the Flames, who got off only nine shots
during the last 52 minutes.

''This is what has been our problem all season long, we can't
find a way to play 60 minutes a game,'' Turek said. ''Sometimes we
have good starts or sometimes we don't have good starts but we play
better at the end of the game.''

St. Louis, which trailed 3-1 at 8:02 of the first period, is
19-7-4-2 after trailing 1-0. Tkachuk has 10 goals and six assists
during a nine-game scoring streak, and linemate Demitra has five
goals and seven assists in his last six to help power the NHL's top
offense.

''Everybody is a big piece of this puzzle,'' Tkachuk said.
''Right now we've got to carry the load and get some goals.''

Jarome Iginla had a goal and an assist for the Flames, 0-3-1-1
in their last five games. Calgary is last in the Western Conference
with 49 points, 26 fewer than the Blues.

''I think they turned it up a little bit and some of our players
couldn't max their level,'' Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. ''It
wasn't that we were doing anything wrong or right.''

Iginla started the scoring with the first of many odd-man rushes
for Calgary, scoring his 24th goal on a rebound at the 55-second
mark. Toni Lydman made it 2-0 with his fifth goal on a power play
at 3:04. The Blues answered on a rush by Demitra at 4:13 before the
Flames regained their two-goal edge at 8:02 as Blake Sloan scored
his second goal of the season during a goal-mouth scramble.

The Blues again cut the gap to a goal at 14:53 as Tkachuk scored
his 26th of the season on a setup from Demitra. Tkachuk tied it
with his 27th at 3:25 of the second before Nash's go-ahead goal at
11:30 on the rebound of a shot by Barret Jackman.

Demitra made it a two-goal cushion at 19:34 of the second on the
deflection of a slap shot by Al MacInnis that took a wild detour
after apparently hitting a Flames player.

Game notes
Referee Tim Peel replaced Chris Rooney, who couldn't make
it to the game because of the storm in the East. ... Flames forward Dave
Lowry was scratched with a knee injury. ... Blues forward Martin Rucinsky
missed his fifth consecutive game with a shoulder injury. ... The
Blues lead the NHL with 194 goals.