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Rookie Bacashihua just misses shutout of Blackhawks

CHICAGO (AP) -- Jason Bacashihua will have to wait for his first
NHL shutout.

The rookie goalie made 21 saves and Eric Brewer and Dallas Drake
scored to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 2-1 victory over the
Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

Kyle Calder scored with 4:32 left for the Blackhawks, who lost
their fifth straight game and seventh in their last eight.

"I'm still looking for it," Bacashihua said. "You get under 5
minutes there, but I'm sure it will come. We've just got to bear
down in the last 10 minutes and make sure we make the right plays.
But we we're able to hold them off and get another win."

Brewer and Drake scored late in the first period to stake
Bacashihua to 2-0 lead.

Bacashihua had to make only a handful of tough saves against the
struggling Blackhawks, who have scored only 10 goals during the
five-game losing streak.

Calder finally broke through when he was left alone in front of
the Blues' net. After taking a pass from Tyler Arnason, Calder spun
and slid in a low shot.

"He made a couple of key saves tonight," Blues coach Mike
Kitchen said. "He had a very strong game. He was very efficient in
his net. He had a lot of good, short, direct moves and was able to
make the second saves."

Bacashihua also benefited from having a lead.

"The way we started the game was the most important factor for
us tonight," Kitchen said. "It's one of the areas we've struggled
in all season. We showed them from the drop of the puck we wanted
to win the game."

Bacashihua made his sixth straight start and seventh consecutive
appearance for the Blues after being recalled from Peoria of the
AHL on Dec. 12. He made his NHL debut Dec. 16 against the
Blackhawks, replacing Curtis Sanford early in the second period
after Sanford was injured.

"It's exciting," Bacashihua said. "A lot of kids dream of
being a No. 1 and right now I'm that guy. I just can't let it go to
my head. I've just to keep playing well and playing hard."

Nikolai Khabibulin started in goal for the Blackhawks, but left
after two periods because of pulled groin. Chicago coach Trent
Yawney said he didn't know how long Khabibulin will be out.

Khabibulin allowed two goals on 22 shots through two periods.
Craig Anderson played the third period, stopping all 10 shots he
faced.

"There are a few aspects of the game where we've really got to
grow up and it showed tonight, like the sticking penalties,"
Blackhawks captain Adrian Aucoin said. "We have to understand
we're not going to win unless we all play together, unless we all
take shorter shifts, unless we put the puck on the net and unless
we play as a five-man unit."

Brewer converted a rebound of Scott Young's shot from the slot
with 2:16 left in the first period to open the scoring.

Moments earlier, Khabibulin had stopped Brewer on a breakaway,
set up when Brewer took a long lead pass directly after leaving the
penalty box.

Following the breakaway attempt, Brewer fed a loose puck from
behind the net to Doug Weight, who passed to Young. Khabibulin
blocked Young's shot, but Brewer was still lingering at the edge of
the crease and slipped the puck between Khabibulin's pads.

Drake's power-play goal with 43 seconds left in the period gave
St. Louis a 2-0 lead. Drake closed in from the right circle, took a
feed from Petr Cajanek and beat Khabibulin high on the stick side.

Bacashihua stopped a close-in chance by Jaroslav Spacek during a
Chicago power-play early in the third. A few seconds later, Anton
Babchuck's stick broke on a close-in attempt.

The rookie goalie made a diving glove save on Tyler Arnason's
rebound attempt during a Chicago power-play midway through the
third.

Game notes
St. Louis defenseman Bryce Salvador sat out because of the
flu. Blues forward Simon Gamache and defenseman Kevin Dallman were
healthy scratches ... Chicago forward Pavel Vorobiev was a healthy
scratch. Blackhawks defenseman Jassen Cullimore missed his ninth
game with a groin pull. He is expected to return in the next few
days.