Series (Game 1 of 6)

St. Louis leads 3-2

Game 1: Thursday, October 16th
Game 2: Tuesday, October 28th
Game 3: Saturday, December 6th
Game 4: Saturday, January 10th
Game 5: Thursday, March 11th
Game 6: Saturday, April 3rd

Blues 1

(1-1-1, 3 pts)

Predators 4

(2-1-0, 4 pts)

8:00 PM ET, October 16, 2003

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 T
STL 0 1 01
NSH 1 1 24

M. Zidlicky (Predators - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

T. Vokoun (Predators - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .968

D. Hamhuis (Predators - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Tootoo scores first point by Inuit in NHL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Dan Hamhuis and the Nashville Predators' special teams proved to be too much for the St. Louis Blues.

Jordin Tootoo got his first NHL point, Marek Zidlicky scored a power-play goal and assisted on another and the Predators added a short-handed goal, beating the Blues 4-1 Thursday night.

"Well, right off, their special teams are better than ours," the Blues' Al MacInnis said. "They are a team that works extremely hard. The better team deserved the win."

Tootoo, the first person of Inuit descent to play in the league, assisted on Hamhuis' power-play goal at 10:53 of the second. He debuted with the Predators earlier this month.

"So far, he has had a very mature approach to the game," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said of Tootoo. "My main advice to him has been to not change his game. I don't want him to lose his focus. It's harder to stay in the NHL than it is to make it."

Zidlicky converted a pass from Andreas Johansson at the 8:18 mark of the first period, beating St. Louis goaltender Chris Osgood on the stick side from close range.

Petr Cajanek scored on a shot from just inside the blue line, beating Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun over the right shoulder and tying the game at 8:47 of the second period.

The Predators regained the lead when Hamhuis scored the third power-play goal of the game. He sent a one-timer past Osgood on the glove side.

Trotz points to the play of Hamhuis, a rookie, as a key to the Predators' success.

"Danny got a big goal for us," Trotz said. "He has a heavy shot. When a goalie stops it, it hurts. It was a huge goal for us. It got the momentum back for us.

"Hamhuis can play in more situations and contribute offensively more than some of our past defensemen. He can play a lot of minutes in a lot of different situations. That's why we drafted him with our first pick."

Vladimir Orszagh scored a short-handed goal at 11:23 of the third period, and Andreas Johansson, who also had an assist, scored into an empty net at 18:22.

"Our special teams were terrible," Quenneville said. "Our power play and our penalty kill were awful. We did some poor things.

"Was it a lack of work? Was it a lack of intelligence? I don't know. We didn't do the little things."

Vokoun stopped 30 shots for his second victory of the season.

"We got good efforts all around," Trotz said. "Tomas was real big when he had to be. "Our special teams scored key goals. They got the first goal in the game. And when St. Louis started to get momentum back our special teams jumped up and did a really good job." ^Notes:@ Dallas Drake made his regular-season debut for the Blues wearing a half-face shield to protect a fractured bone under his eye. ... Zidlicky has a modest two-game goal-scoring streak for the Predators. He has points in all three games. ... Keith Tkachuk had scored the Blues only three goals of the season entering the Nashville game.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press