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McKee unlikely hero as Blues snap four-game skid

Feb 13, 2008 - 5:34 AM
ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- The St. Louis Blues' fortunes might be about to change.

Defenseman Jay McKee scored the decisive goal by gathering his own rebound at 8:29 of the third period and All-Star Manny Legace stopped 25 shots as the Blues posted a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

Martin Rucinsky scored and added an assist for St. Louis, which snapped a four-game skid in unlikely fashion.

McKee's second goal of the season was the first from a St. Louis defenseman in 18 games, and it could not have come at a better time. David Backes also tallied and Jay McClement recorded a pair of assists for the Blues, who had not won since beating Anaheim, 1-0, on February 1.

The win was even more unlikely considering the Kings had been 9-4-1 in their previous 14 games - easily their best stretch of the season.

"I thought our team game was pretty solid all night," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "We were playing against a very, very highly skilled team. It's been the hottest team in the NHL as of late. I thought we played with a lot of structure. Our penalty-killing was obviously outstanding."

"We got some confidence from this one," McKee said. "We have to try to carry that and we need to put together a streak. There's no tip-toeing around it. We want to make sure we're hanging around at the end of the year."

Rucinsky played a key role in helping the Blues to just their third win in 14 contests. He tied the game at 2-2 at 9:01 of the second and assisted on McKee's game-winner.

"Obviously, it's a desperate time for us," Rucinsky said of the Blues' playoff hopes. "We have no time left. We all have to play hard. It's looks like tonight, all of us pulled in the same direction and beat a good team."

McKee took a pass from Rucinsky on the left side and fired a shot that deflected off netminder Jason LaBarbera's pad. The puck came right back to McKee, who quickly fired it past LaBarbera for a 3-2 edge.

Legace, who entered 1-4-2 with a 3.00 goals-against average in his previous nine games, made a key save moments later as he backed into the net and stopped a shot between his pads before it could cross the goal line.

"It's a good win for us," Legace said. "I thought every forward played a great game. I thought everybody stepped up. We were very strong defensively, too."

Backes then doubled the lead with his eighth goal of the season with 6:35 left, knocking in a rebound after a scrum in front of the net.

Dustin Brown gave Los Angeles a 2-1 lead 4:07 into the second period with his 25th goal of the season. However, Rucinsky tied it by burying a rebound after McClement misfired on a breakaway.

"We had the lead twice tonight and they battled back," Brown said. "(Tied at) 2-2 in the third is where we want to be going into the third on the road. We just got outbattled and they got two hard-working goals."

The Kings opened the scoring as Alexander Frolov tallied at 13:19 of the first, but Andy McDonald tied it 33 seconds into the middle period with his 11th goal of the season.

LaBarbera stopped 30 shots for the Kings, who have a league-worst 51 points.

Los Angeles, which posted a franchise-best nine points during an eight-game road trip, host the Calgary Flames on Friday in its first home game since January 12. The Kings went 4-3-1 on the trek.

"We had a good trip up to this point," LaBarbera said. "It would have been nice to cap it off with a big win here. We knew that they were going to play hard because they're battling for the playoffs. We didn't have a good effort and they outworked us."






  • 15
    roots
    13thDisciple Added 5 roots

    Kings vs. BluesFeb 13 1:06 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 1 1 0 2
    ST LOUIS 0 2 2 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - ALEXANDER FROLOV 15 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN, KEVIN
    DALLMAN) 13:19
    2ND PRD: STL - JAY MCCLEMENT 7 (BARRET JACKMAN, PAUL KARIYA) 0:33
    LOS - DUSTIN BROWN 25 (ANZE KOPITAR, LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY) 4:07
    STL - MARTIN RUCINSKY

    Feb 12 11:08 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 2
    ST LOUIS 4
    3RD PRD: STL - DAVID BACKES 8 (JAMAL MAYERS, KEITH TKACHUK) 13:25

    Kings vs. BluesFeb 12 10:55 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 2
    ST LOUIS 3
    3RD PRD: STL - JAY MCKEE 2 (MARTIN RUCINSKY, JAY MCCLEMENT) 8:29

    Kings vs. BluesFeb 12 10:43 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 1 1 2
    ST LOUIS 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - ALEXANDER FROLOV 15 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN, KEVIN
    DALLMAN) 13:19
    2ND PRD: STL - JAY MCCLEMENT 7 (BARRET JACKMAN, PAUL KARIYA) 0:33
    LOS - DUSTIN BROWN 25 (ANZE KOPITAR, LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY) 4:07
    STL - MA

    Feb 12 10:12 PM
  • 10
    roots
    bigsexy Added 5 roots

    Kings vs. BluesFeb 12 10:08 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 2
    ST LOUIS 2
    2ND PRD: STL - MARTIN RUCINSKY 4 (JAY MCCLEMENT, DAVID BACKES) 9:01

    Kings vs. BluesFeb 12 9:54 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 2
    ST LOUIS 1
    2ND PRD: LOS - DUSTIN BROWN 25 (ANZE KOPITAR, LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY) 4:07

    Kings vs. BluesFeb 12 9:44 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    ST LOUIS 1
    2ND PRD: STL - JAY MCCLEMENT 7 (BARRET JACKMAN, PAUL KARIYA) 0:33

    Kings vs. BluesFeb 12 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 1 1
    ST LOUIS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - ALEXANDER FROLOV 15 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN, KEVIN
    DALLMAN) 13:19
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS 9 9
    STL 10 10
    GOALIES: LOS - JASO

    Feb 12 9:17 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    ST LOUIS 0
    1ST PRD: LOS - ALEXANDER FROLOV 15 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN, KEVIN DALLMAN)
    13:19

    Kings vs. BluesFeb 12 9:06 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Kings vs. BluesFeb 10 11:05 PM