Blues
Blue Jackets
4 - 3 Final - OT
  for this game

Guerin, Blues end skid, beat Blue Jackets in shootout

Nov 23, 2006 - 3:16 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Columbus Blue Jackets coach Gary Agnew wanted to go out a winner. Bill Guerin and the St. Louis Blues had other ideas.

Guerin scored the clincher in the shootout and goaltender Manny Legace made it stand up as the Blues posted a 4-3 victory over the Blue Jackets, who will welcome new coach Ken Hitchcock on Friday.

Enforcer Jamal Mayers had two goals and an assist for St. Louis, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

"Both teams are in major need of points," Guerin said. "This was huge for us, to get a win on the road. I think we battled hard. Both teams battled hard all game. It went down to wire. It was a good game, a good game for us."

"I'm just happy to be able to chip in," Mayers said. "We got the win and we needed it. (It's) huge."

Blues defenseman Jeff Woywitka tied the contest, 3-3, with his first career goal with 2:18 left in regulation.

Agnew, who served as interim coach after Columbus fired Gerard Gallant five games ago, went 0-3-2. The Blue Jackets have lost seven straight contests.

"It is still a matter of us trying to find a way to win," Agnew said. "It was like the games against Nashville, giving up a one-goal lead with eight or nine minutes to go and tonight it was under three minutes to go. We just have to make smarter plays."

Legace stopped Manny Malhotra on the Blue Jackets' fourth attempt in the shootout.

"I thought he (Legace) tracked the puck well," Blues coach Mike Kitchen said. "He followed the puck well. He did a real solid job in there."

"They had a lot of talent coming at me," Legace said. "I just tried to get in way. Luckily, I did."

Legace stopped 29 shots while Blue Jackets netminder Pascal Leclaire made 35 saves for Columbus, which is mired in its longest slide since a seven-game skid from November 11-25, 2005.

"It's a tough situation," Columbus right wing David Vyborny said. "We tried to win. It just didn't happen. We still have 60 games and it is a long season. Ken Hitchcock is a proven winner and we look forward to learning."

The Blue Jackets named Hitchcock as their new coach Wednesday. He will make his debut Friday when the Blue Jackets visit Philadelphia, which fired him last month.

"I have always maintained that I am a company man," Agnew said. "I will do whatever it takes for the team or organization to get the job done and win."

Hitchcock, 54, has compiled a 408-249-100 record with Dallas and Philadelphia. He won the 1999 Stanley Cup with Dallas. In eight full seasons behind the bench, he guided his teams to six division titles.






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