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Blues complete home-and-home sweep of Avalanche behind Legace

Dec 31, 2006 - 6:36 AM
ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Thanks to Manny Legace, the Colorado Avalanche are glad their season series with the St. Louis Blues is over.

Legace made 33 saves and Keith Tkachuk and Lee Stempniak scored power-play goals as the Blues completed a home-and-home sweep of the Avalanche with a 2-0 victory.

After leading St. Louis to a 4-2 victory with a 30-save effort at Colorado on Friday, Legace was even better in this one.

"He's making big saves when we need it," Stempniak said. "He's either stealing games for us or keeping us in games."

"Legace has had three great games against us this year and he is a big factor in the net," said Colorado coach Joel Quenneville, who formerly guided St. Louis. "The quality of our shots was not as high as we would like, but he was very efficient and he did a good job around the net."

In posting his first shutout of the season and 14th career, the netminder turned aside 12 shots in the first period, eight in the second and 13 in the third.

"The guys are having faith in me and it makes a world of difference," said Legace, who is 5-0-3 in his last eight starts. "And when they are confident, confidence grows."

"Our goaltender is playing tremendously, and when you are winning, goaltending is always a big part of the equation," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "But I'm not a big fan of the word 'confidence.' If you play well, you feel well. Manny's feeling well about himself because he is playing well."

Legace, who raised his lifetime record against Colorado to 11-1-0, got all the support he needed 7 1/2 minutes into the game, when Tkachuk converted a power-play opportunity for his 10th goal of the season. With less than three minutes to go in the middle period, Stempniak doubled the lead with his 11th tally.

"We're finally doing the things we should be doing," Tkachuk said. "It's been a while coming."

Doug Weight notched his seventh assist in the season series, which the Blues captured, three games to one.

After picking up a pair of assists on Friday, defenseman Dennis Wideman added another for the Blues, who have won five of six, earned at least one point in eight straight and improved to 5-2-3 under Murray.

"To be successful in this league, you have to be able to do different things to win," Murray said. "Tonight, we won with defense and special teams. Our blocked-shot count is going through the roof and guys are sacrificing themselves to get results."

"We showed a lot of what happens when bounces go the wrong way, and now we are seeing what happens when bounces go the right way," Legace added.

Peter Budaj stopped 20 shots for Colorado, which has lost three straight.

"In the last couple of games, we've had our opportunities," said Avalanche captain Joe Sakic, who had his three-game goal-scoring streak snapped. "We just have not found a way to put the puck in the net."

"The effort has been there, but you can define what we have given up our last three games by what we have given up through our penalty-killing," Quenneville said.

From the right side of the net, Tkachuk deposited the rebound of defenseman Eric Brewer's blast from the left point past Budaj for a 1-0 lead.

"They are definitely more active in front of the net than what we've seen of them recently," Budaj said.

During another power play in the second, Stempniak slapped a cross-ice feed from Wideman by Budaj with 2:56 remaining in the session for a two-goal bulge.

"It's great when coach is putting that much confidence in you on the power play," Stempniak said. "And the power play is clicking."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0 0 0
    ST LOUIS 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - (PP) KEITH TKACHUK 10 (ERIC BREWER, RADEK DVORAK) 7:37
    2ND PRD: STL - (PP) LEE STEMPNIAK 11 (DENNIS WIDEMAN, DOUG WEIGHT)
    17:04
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: COL - 0 OF 6, STL - 2 OF 8.
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Dec 30 10:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0 0
    ST LOUIS 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - (PP) KEITH TKACHUK 10 (ERIC BREWER, RADEK DVORAK) 7:37
    2ND PRD: STL - (PP) LEE STEMPNIAK 11 (DENNIS WIDEMAN, DOUG WEIGHT)
    17:04
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COL

    Dec 30 9:39 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    ST LOUIS 2
    2ND PRD: STL - (PP) LEE STEMPNIAK 11 (DENNIS WIDEMAN, DOUG WEIGHT)
    17:04

    Avalanche vs. BluesDec 30 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0
    ST LOUIS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - (PP) KEITH TKACHUK 10 (ERIC BREWER, RADEK DVORAK) 7:37
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COL 12 12
    STL 8 8
    GOALIES: COL - PETER BUDAJ


    Dec 30 8:43 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    ST LOUIS 1
    1ST PRD: STL - (PP) KEITH TKACHUK 10 (ERIC BREWER, RADEK DVORAK) 7:37

    Avalanche vs. BluesDec 30 8:23 PM