for this game

Legace, McDonald help Blues down Blue Jackets

Jan 9, 2008 - 6:28 AM
By Tom James PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Manny Legace finally yielded a goal, but he still played well enough to win his third straight decision.

The 34-year-old netminder made 17 saves and Andy McDonald scored two goals and set up another to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 6-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night in a Central Division matchup.

Legace's bid for a third consecutive shutout was ended at 4:34 of the third period, when Rick Nash notched his team-leading 22nd goal of the season on a tap-in at the left goalpost of Joakim Lindstrom's pass from along the right wing boards.

It was Legace's first tally allowed in 186 minutes, 15 seconds, breaking Greg Millen's club record of 184:47 set from November 29-December 8, 1988.

"After the second period, I was kind of hoping to get to the 200-minute mark," Legace said. "They're a very talented offensive team, and it was unfortunate that it went off of EJ's (Eric Johnson's) pants and right to (Nash). It could have went to a guy that could have mishandled it a little bit instead of their best player.

"It's just a credit to the defense, the way they've been playing all season long. And the crowds have been great. It sends a chill down your spine."

The eight-year veteran had blanked both the Detroit Red Wings and Carolina Hurricanes over the past eight days. He also held the Oilers scoreless for one period on Wednesday before being replaced by Hannu Toivonen due to injury.

Legace made 74 saves during his scoreless stretch, which dates back to the third period of a loss to the San Jose Sharks on December 28.

"He's played tremendous for us and the reason we have as many points as we have," St. Louis coach Andy Murray said.

In Tuesday's contest, Legace turned aside seven shots in the first period, three more in the second and seven in the third.

"He's been our best player for the whole year," Johnson said. "You really can't say enough about Manny and how he's played for us and how he's helped our team win."

Johnson collected three assists, including one on the first power-play goal scored by St. Louis in seven games.

"It was frustrating, especially on the power play," the 19-year-old rookie defenseman said. "We've been 0-for-I don't know how long. To get that goal tonight I think, maybe, will take some weight off of some of the guys' shoulders and just allow us to go out and play and not to be pressing too much.

"For me to be a good hockey player, I have to have the confidence to make plays."

Keith Tkachuk had his own compliments about the rookie's performance.

"He's going to be the future of this power play for a long time," he said. "The puck always seems to follow him, and that's huge."

"Our defensive structure allowed us to create offense," Murray added. "There were a lot of good decisions made out there."

McDonald gave the Blues a 2-0 edge with 8:19 remaining in the middle session, when he released a quick wrist shot over the glove of goaltender Fredrik Norrena.

McDonald tallied again just 85 seconds into the third period as he received a saucer pass from Brad Boyes and slapped it past Norrena to give St. Louis a 3-0 advantage. It was his sixth goal of the season and third since joining the Blues.

The 30-year-old center was acquired by St. Louis on December 14 from the Anaheim Ducks for Doug Weight, Michal Birner and a 2008 seventh-round pick. McDonald also had an assist for his first three-point game since Game Four of Anaheim's Stanley Cup Finals triumph over the Ottawa Senators last June.

"The first goal was a big lift for us. Once they start going in and you feel momentum, it starts to feel good," McDonald said. "The message has been, when the shot is available, take it, especially on the power play. If you have a lane to shoot it, shoot it. Just don't force it."

After Nash cut the deficit to two, Tkachuk, David Perron and Dan Hinote each tallied in the final session for the Blues, who will travel to Columbus on Friday after they finish a four-game homestand Thursday against the Dallas Stars.

David Backes started the scoring with his fifth goal of the season at 8:31 of the first, collecting the rebound of Lee Stempniak's shot and sliding a backhander inside the left goalpost.

Norrena started in place of Pascal Leclaire, who is suffering from a viral infection. He made 25 saves.

"I don't know if they made us bad or we made ourselves bad. I don't know - I don't have the answer," Norrena said. "I'm just focusing on my game, and I was off tonight. I have to play much better to get back on track."

"We were beat. They were better for 60 minutes," Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "They were better in every period. We didn't have enough good players tonight and they had a lot of good players. That's what happens."

Murray did not want to dwell on too many details, be it the goaltending, the defense, or for at least one night, the goals.

"All we need is wins, and however they come, we'll take them," he said. "We won't be better Thursday night against Dallas because we scored six goals tonight."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 0 1 1
    ST LOUIS 1 1 4 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - DAVID BACKES 5 (LEE STEMPNIAK, JAY MCCLEMENT) 8:31
    2ND PRD: STL - ANDY MCDONALD 6 (DAVID PERRON, JAY MCKEE) 11:41
    3RD PRD: STL - ANDY MCDONALD 7 (BRAD BOYES, ERIK JOHNSON) 1:25
    COB - RICK NASH 22 (JOAKIM LINDSTR

    Jan 8 10:55 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    ST LOUIS 6
    3RD PRD: STL - DAN HINOTE 3 (RYAN JOHNSON) 18:58

    Blue Jackets vs. BluesJan 8 10:52 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    ST LOUIS 5
    3RD PRD: STL - DAVID PERRON 9 (ERIK JOHNSON, ANDY MCDONALD) 12:31

    Blue Jackets vs. BluesJan 8 10:42 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    ST LOUIS 4
    3RD PRD: STL - (PP) KEITH TKACHUK 10 (ERIK JOHNSON, CHRISTIAN BACKMAN)
    10:25

    Blue Jackets vs. BluesJan 8 10:36 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    ST LOUIS 3
    3RD PRD: COB - RICK NASH 22 (JOAKIM LINDSTROM, JAN HEJDA) 4:36

    Blue Jackets vs. BluesJan 8 10:25 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 0
    ST LOUIS 3
    3RD PRD: STL - ANDY MCDONALD 7 (BRAD BOYES, ERIK JOHNSON) 1:25

    Blue Jackets vs. BluesJan 8 10:20 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 0 0
    ST LOUIS 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - DAVID BACKES 5 (LEE STEMPNIAK, JAY MCCLEMENT) 8:31
    2ND PRD: STL - ANDY MCDONALD 6 (DAVID PERRON, JAY MCKEE) 11:41
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 7 3

    Jan 8 10:00 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 0
    ST LOUIS 2
    2ND PRD: STL - ANDY MCDONALD 6 (DAVID PERRON, JAY MCKEE) 11:41

    Blue Jackets vs. BluesJan 8 9:48 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 0
    ST LOUIS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - DAVID BACKES 5 (LEE STEMPNIAK, JAY MCCLEMENT) 8:31
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 7 7
    STL 8 8
    GOALIES: COB - FREDRIK NORRENA


    Jan 8 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 0
    ST LOUIS 1
    1ST PRD: STL - DAVID BACKES 5 (LEE STEMPNIAK, JAY MCCLEMENT) 8:31

    Blue Jackets vs. BluesJan 8 8:52 PM
  • 5
    roots
    barleycorn Added 5 roots

    Blue Jackets vs. BluesJan 7 5:07 AM