Series (Game 4 of 4)

St. Louis leads 3-1

Game 1: Monday, November 25th
Game 2: Thursday, January 9th
Game 3: Saturday, February 8th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 11th

Blues 4

(36-19-6, 86 pts)

Sharks 2

(25-33-5, 61 pts)

10:30 PM ET, March 11, 2003

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
STL 2 1 14
SJ 0 2 02

E. Boguniecki (Blues - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

P. Cajanek (Blues - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Johnson stops 19 shots to end three-game skid

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- With a new goalie heading to town, Brent Johnson wanted to make a good impression.

 Brent Johnson

"I wasn't fearful out there," said Johnson after the St. Louis Blues beat the San Jose Sharks 4-2 on Tuesday night. "I just tried to keep it simple. I got into the flow of the game pretty fast."

Keith Tkachuk, Dallas Drake, Cory Stillman and Eric Boguniecki all scored for the Blues, who won their fifth in six games and drew within a point of the Colorado Avalanche for the No. 4 playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Johnson, who missed the last five games with a groin pull, stopped 19 shots to end his three-game losing streak as the Blues improved to 8-1-1 in their last 10 visits to San Jose.

"I thought he handled the puck well and settled down," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said. "He had to be alert, and he was."

Marco Sturm and Miroslav Zalesak scored for the Sharks, who lost their fifth in six games. Zalesak, recalled from Cleveland of the AHL earlier in the day, recorded his first NHL goal.

A dizzying series of moves by both teams led to several new faces on the ice. The Blues acquired goalie Chris Osgood from the New York Islanders for a draft pick and a prospect, and forward Valeri Bure from the Florida Panthers for a prospect before Tuesday's trading deadline.

"Bure gives us four strong lines," Stillman said. "Any of those lines can score."

Osgood figures to get the majority of playing time, over Johnson, once he arrives.

"It will be interesting to have him here," Johnson said. "He brings something we don't have."

The Sharks got center Wayne Primeau, while sending right wing Matt Bradley to the Pittsburgh Penguins. San Jose also traded defenseman Dan McGillis to Boston for a draft pick.

"The couple of hours before the trade deadline were stressful," said Sharks center Vincent Damphousse, rumored to be headed elsewhere. "After we found out we're staying, we can move on from here."

The Blues scored two quick goals in the first period. Doug Weight passed the puck from behind the net and Dallas Drake tapped it past Sharks goalie Miika Kiprusoff with 12:16 remaining in the period.

Less than four minutes later, Stillman took a pass from Petr Cajanek and drove to the net, beating Kiprusoff to the stick side.

"We just kept pushing the puck all night," said Stillman, who scored for just the third time in 22 games. "Any time you have your full lineup, it's great."

Cajanek, who missed the last 24 games due to a broken left fibula, recorded his first point since a two-goal game against Tampa Bay on Jan. 11.

Tkachuk, in his second game back after serving a four-game suspension, tipped the puck past Kiprusoff's glove side less than five minutes into the second period.

Sturm and Zalesak scored within 16 seconds of each other midway through the second period to put the Sharks on the scoreboard.

Sturm took a lead pass from Niko Dimitrakos and one-handed a soft shot that bounced off the far post and into the net as Johnson came out to challenge Sturm.

"I had a good backspin on that pass from Niko," Sturm said. "I was just trying to put the puck on the net. That's not something you can practice."

Zalesak took a pass off the ensuing faceoff from Jonathan Cheechoo and beat Johnson.

Boguniecki scored on a breakaway midway through the third period to make it 4-2.

Game notes
The Sharks reassigned C Ryan Kraft and C Chad Wiseman to Cleveland of the AHL. ... Bure and Osgood were scheduled for physicals on Wednesday and are expected to join the Blues in Vancouver on Thursday. ... Primeau will make his Sharks debut on Saturday against Calgary. ... Cajanek and Johnson were activated from the injured list before the game.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press