for this game

Rucinsky, Legace help Blues remain hot

Dec 30, 2006 - 9:37 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Andy Murray must be doing something right.

Martin Rucinsky scored twice and Manny Legace made 30 saves as the St. Louis Blues posted their fourth win in five games, a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

Since replacing the fired Mike Kitchen as coach on December 11, Murray has quickly turned the Blues into a competitive team, guiding the club to a 4-2-3 record. He received a strong effort from several veterans Friday, including Rucinsky, who entered with just one goal in his previous 20 games.

"He's a great coach," Rucinsky said. "He's had a lot of success. He brought a system here, everybody's bought into it and it's amazing how when everybody follows the instruction and the system, you get results."

"They're playing very well right now under Andy," Colorado defenseman Brett Clark said. "They are playing a good system and team game right now. They're taking chances when they can get them. They're sitting back and making us turn it over."

After staking the Blues to a 1-0 lead less than eight minutes into the second period, Rucinsky snapped a 2-2 tie midway through the third with a power-play tally, giving him his second two-goal effort of the season.

"It's nothing special for me, just another game," Rucinsky said. "It was an important game for us. We've been playing well lately and we wanted to get two points, and we did that."

Bill Guerin netted his fourth goal in three games and added an assist and Doug Weight set up a pair of tallies for St. Louis, which has earned at least one point in each of its last seven contests.

"The new coaching staff brought in some great systems that we can play and the boys have just taken to it and played unbelievable in front of me," Legace said. "For the last seven or eight games, they've been unbelievable. Defensively, the forwards are coming back hard, our defensemen are standing up. We're playing our systems, which we weren't doing earlier in the year."

Captain Joe Sakic and rookie Wojtek Wolski each extended their goal-scoring streaks to three games for the Avalanche, which visits the Blues on Saturday.

After a scoreless first period, Rucinsky got the Blues on the board at 7:47 of the second. Weight carried down the right side and made a cross-crease pass to Rucinsky, who tapped the puck past goaltender Peter Budaj for his seventh goal.

"I'm playing with a couple guys who can put the puck in the net, so his job is to get to the net and expect the puck, and I've got to be able to move my feet and things open up for me," Weight said. "That was the case tonight. I had a lot of open ice and we had some open looks."

Sakic tied it just 21 seconds later with a shot from the hash marks. It was the 1,530th career point for the veteran, who is one shy of tying Hall of Famer Paul Coffey for 10th on the all-time list.

Guerin put St. Louis back in front with a one-timer during a 5-on-3 power play at 13:32 of the session.

"We had more shots than them, but they capitalized on their shots," said Budaj, who made just 16 saves. "That 5-on-3 was definitely a big goal. It was a perfect shot."

However, Wolski answered with 57 seconds left with his fourth tally in three games.

Rucinsky netted the winning goal with 8:43 to go in the third, deflecting Lee Stempniak's shot from the left faceoff circle between Budaj's pads while on the doorstep.

"It was a power play and good movement around by Dougie Weight," Rucinsky said. "Lee just shot that puck and I just tipped it, change of direction, and it went between his legs and went in, so it was a fortunate goal for us."

"Rucinsky just put his stick there and it got between my legs," Budaj said. "A couple bounces went their way instead of our way, so we have to regroup and go at them again tomorrow night."

Keith Tkachuk sealed the win with a power-play, empty-net tally.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 2 2 4
    COLORADO 0 2 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: STL - MARTIN RUCINSKY 7 (DOUG WEIGHT, BILL GUERIN) 7:47
    COL - JOE SAKIC 17 (KARLIS SKRASTINS, ANDREW BRUNETTE) 8:08
    STL - (PP) BILL GUERIN 17 (DENNIS WIDEMAN, DOUG WEIGHT)
    13:32
    COL - (PP) WOJTEK WOLSKI

    Dec 29 11:30 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 4
    COLORADO 2
    3RD PRD: STL - (PP) (EN) KEITH TKACHUK 9 (PETR CAJANEK, RADEK DVORAK)
    19:29

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 29 11:29 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 3
    COLORADO 2
    3RD PRD: STL - (PP) MARTIN RUCINSKY 8 (LEE STEMPNIAK, DENNIS WIDEMAN)
    11:17

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 29 11:13 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 2 2
    COLORADO 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: STL - MARTIN RUCINSKY 7 (DOUG WEIGHT, BILL GUERIN) 7:47
    COL - JOE SAKIC 17 (KARLIS SKRASTINS, ANDREW BRUNETTE) 8:08
    STL - (PP) BILL GUERIN 17 (DENNIS WIDEMAN, DOUG WEIGHT)
    13:32
    COL - (PP)

    Dec 29 10:37 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 2
    COLORADO 2
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) WOJTEK WOLSKI 12 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, PAUL STASTNY)
    19:03

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 29 10:36 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 2
    COLORADO 1
    2ND PRD: STL - (PP) BILL GUERIN 17 (DENNIS WIDEMAN, DOUG WEIGHT) 13:32

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 29 10:24 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    COLORADO 1
    2ND PRD: COL - JOE SAKIC 17 (KARLIS SKRASTINS, ANDREW BRUNETTE) 8:08

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 29 10:12 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    COLORADO 0
    2ND PRD: STL - MARTIN RUCINSKY 7 (DOUG WEIGHT, BILL GUERIN) 7:47

    Blues vs. AvalancheDec 29 10:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0
    COLORADO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    STL 6 6
    COL 8 8
    GOALIES: STL - MANNY LEGACE
    COL - PETER BUDAJ

    Dec 29 9:40 PM