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Dvorak's third-period goal carries Blues over Blackhawks

Oct 15, 2006 - 3:02 AM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Radek Dvorak's first goal of the season came at an opportune time for the St. Louis Blues.

Dvorak snapped a tie late in the third period, providing the difference in the Blues' 4-3 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Dvorak netted the game-winner with 6:18 remaining when he took a soft backhanded pass from Petr Cajanek and beat goaltender Brian Boucher with a blistering wrister from the left faceoff circle.

"When Petr gave me the pass, their defenseman kind of touched the puck a little bit," Dvorak said. "I think the goalie was already down. The puck slows down a little bit, so then I shot it and he was already down, and I just tried to hit the net and it was in."

Defenseman Jamie Rivers, Bill Guerin and Martin Rucinsky also tallied for the Blues, who have won two straight games since opening the campaign with three consecutive losses.

"It was nice to get the first goal," Dvorak said. "We played a solid 60-minute game. It was our best effort for 60 minutes and it paid off. It's a good feeling to get two wins in a row. It's a nice win for everybody."

Manny Legace made 19 saves to record the victory.

"I think people are starting to believe in each other," Legace said. "We just kept pounding and pounding. The guys are playing hard for each other."

Chicago's Martin Havlat scored twice to give him a league-best six goals on the season. Bryan Smolinski also tallied for the Blackhawks, who went 0-for-6 with the man advantage.

"We had our chances," Chicago coach Trent Yawney said. "We just didn't finish off the play. We have to execute."

While the Blackhawks' special teams struggled, the Blues' power play finally is turning things around. After going 1-for-21 with the man advantage in its first four contests, St. Louis went 3-for-4 with the extra skater Saturday.

"It's nice for the power play to get rewarded," Blues coach Mike Kitchen said. "We worked on it a little bit in morning skate. We had a couple of plays that we wanted to use. Chicago is very aggressive in their penalty killing."

St. Louis trailed, 2-0, late in the first period before Rivers netted his first of the season - a power-play goal on a setup from Dvorak. That tally was the first of three straight for the Blues, who controlled the play the remainder of the way.

"I think that (Rivers' goal) was probably the turning point," Legace said. "That was huge."

Boucher stopped 24 shots in his Blackhawks debut but still took a bulk of the blame for the loss.

"We didn't get it done tonight," he said. "When you give up three power-play goals, you're not going to win too many hockey games. And I'm part of that penalty-killing unit. We have to be better than that if we want to win hockey games."

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