for this game

Boyes, Kariya help Blues win home opener

Oct 11, 2007 - 5:31 AM
By Tom James PA Sportsticker Contributing Writer

ST LOUIS (Ticker) -- Paul Kariya received a warm welcome from the St. Louis Blues' fans, but his new team did not give his old club the same.

Brad Boyes scored two goals and Kariya collected a pair of assists as the Blues won their home opener, posting a 4-1 triumph over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday.

It did not take long for St. Louis to get to Chris Mason, who was the NHL's top goaltender over the first week of the season.

Kariya carried the puck into the offensive zone and fed Jay McClement, who drew the defense and made a centering pass to Boyes. The 25-year-old Boyes sent a wrist shot past a sliding Mason to give the Blues an early 1-0 edge just 54 seconds into the game.

"It was easy to put in great feeds from Paul and Jay, and we took it from there," Boyes said. "Tonight, we played 60 minutes, and there have been nights, preseason and regular season, we have only played 40 minutes and things have not gone well."

Boyes struck again later in the opening session. After taking a pass from Kariya, Boyes led a 2-on-1 rush with Keith Tkachuk, snapped a shot that was stopped and banged in the rebound with 5:23 remaining to open a 2-0 lead.

"I did not do too much," Kariya said. "Boyesie scored two great goals. He is a scorer, he has great hands around the net, and he showed it."

Kariya has five points - all assists - in his first three games with the Blues. He signed three-year, $18-million deal in July after spending the previous two campaigns with the Predators.

"It is always a little different the first time you play the guys you played with," Kariya said. "They are a really good team over there and a great group of guys."

The Blues impressed coach Andy Murray with their ability to get off to a good start and feed off the energy of the sellout crowd of 19,150, the second-largest not tied to a jersey retirement ceremony since the lockout.

"We talked about wanting to play with a lead and play assertively," Murray said. "And the energy - the energy of the game, the energy of the building. If you want to sell the game of hockey, this did a pretty good job of it."

The visiting bench also took notice.

"They played extremely well," Nashville captain Jason Arnott said. "They were playing well at the end of last year, too. They were hyped up and they had their fans going."

Ryan Johnson snapped a 25-game goal-scoring drought dating to February 6 when he caught up to D.J. King's pass off the left wing boards in the faceoff circle before nudging in a short-side goal at 3:39 of the second.

Lee Stempniak buried the rebound of Martin Rucinsky's slap shot with 8:37 left in the middle session to make it 4-0.

That ended the night for Mason, who had stopped 63 of the 64 shots he faced in Nashville's first two games and had won 10-of-13 previous career starts against St. Louis. He allowed four goals on 18 shots Wednesday.

Nonetheless, Predators coach Barry Trotz was not ready to heap all the blame on his netminder.

"It was not all his fault, absolutely not," Trotz said. "We left Mase to the wolves. He was under siege most of the time."

Rookie defenseman Steve Wagner, who notched the second assist on Stempniak's goal, gave back the tally when he inadvertently steered the rebound of Jordan Tootoo's shot past netminder Manny Legace with his left leg with 54 seconds left in the period.

Tootoo, who has scored 12 goals in 172 games against the rest of the NHL, claimed his third in 10 career contests vs. the Blues.

Legace, who went the distance in goal just four nights after feeling renewed pain in the same right knee on which he had season-ending surgery in February, was sharp as he turned aside 19 shots. He was quite pleased with the defensive effort in front of him despite not having the services of three of the Blues' top defensemen - Eric Brewer, Jay McKee and rookie Erik Johnson.

"The guys played great. They did a great job with the puck, they let me see the puck and they blocked shots," Legace said. "It was a solid effort all the way around."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 1 0 1
    ST LOUIS 2 2 0 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - BRAD BOYES 2 (JAY MCCLEMENT, PAUL KARIYA) 0:54
    STL - BRAD BOYES 3 (PAUL KARIYA, DAVID BACKES) 14:37
    2ND PRD: STL - RYAN JOHNSON 1 (D.J. KING, JAMAL MAYERS) 3:39
    STL - LEE STEMPNIAK 1 (MARTIN RUCINSKY, STEVE WAGN

    Oct 10 11:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 1 1
    ST LOUIS 2 2 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - BRAD BOYES 2 (JAY MCCLEMENT, PAUL KARIYA) 0:54
    STL - BRAD BOYES 3 (PAUL KARIYA, DAVID BACKES) 14:37
    2ND PRD: STL - RYAN JOHNSON 1 (D.J. KING, JAMAL MAYERS) 3:39
    STL - LEE STEMPNIAK 1 (MARTIN RUCINSK

    Oct 10 10:18 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    ST LOUIS 4
    2ND PRD: NAS - JORDIN TOOTOO 1 (ALEXANDER RADULOV, DAN HAMHUIS) 19:06

    Predators vs. BluesOct 10 10:16 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    ST LOUIS 4
    2ND PRD: STL - LEE STEMPNIAK 1 (MARTIN RUCINSKY, STEVE WAGNER) 11:23

    Predators vs. BluesOct 10 9:59 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    ST LOUIS 3
    2ND PRD: STL - RYAN JOHNSON 1 (D.J. KING, JAMAL MAYERS) 3:39

    Predators vs. BluesOct 10 9:46 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 0
    ST LOUIS 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - BRAD BOYES 2 (JAY MCCLEMENT, PAUL KARIYA) 0:54
    STL - BRAD BOYES 3 (PAUL KARIYA, DAVID BACKES) 14:37
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 7 7
    STL 1

    Oct 10 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    ST LOUIS 2
    1ST PRD: STL - BRAD BOYES 3 (PAUL KARIYA, DAVID BACKES) 14:37

    Predators vs. BluesOct 10 9:14 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    ST LOUIS 1
    1ST PRD: STL - BRAD BOYES 2 (JAY MCCLEMENT, PAUL KARIYA) 0:54

    Predators vs. BluesOct 10 8:49 PM