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St. Louis
Blues
39-30-11-2
San Jose
Sharks
43-21-12-6

24 SOG
18 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
STL
SJS
game preview

St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks

Sunday, 02.29.2004 / 5:00 PM

Associated Press

Blues-Sharks Preview

GAME: St. Louis Blues (29-24-8-2) at San Jose Sharks (31-16-11-6).

TIME: Sunday, 8 p.m. EST.

The San Jose Sharks will look to move closer to the top of the Western Conference when they host the St. Louis Blues.

The Sharks beat hapless Pittsburgh 4-2 on Friday to move within four points of first-place Detroit and three points of second-place Colorado in the West.

Colorado lost 5-4 in overtime to Columbus on Saturday, and Detroit hosts Philadelphia on Sunday.

"The last thing that you want to do is let a point or two slip to Pittsburgh," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "Most of the teams that we play the rest of the way have over or at .500 records."

Brad Stuart, Patrick Marleau, Tom Preissing and Alexander Korolyuk scored for San Jose, which has lost just once in its last 10 games (8-1-1). The Sharks have gone 30-11-8-6 since Oct. 30.

"We are still in the race for that first spot," said goalie Evgeni Nabokov, who made 31 saves Friday. "We are four from first place. We have to look up top, but we have to not think too far ahead of us."

The Sharks placed center Mike Ricci on the injured list before the game and called up Jim Fahey from Cleveland of the AHL.

The Blues failed to get new coach Mike Kitchen his first win on Saturday, falling 2-0 in Vancouver. Kitchen, who was promoted from assistant after Joel Quenneville was fired on Tuesday, led St. Louis to a 2-2 tie with Colorado in his first game on Thursday.

The Blues are in ninth place in the conference, two points behind Calgary for the final playoff spot.

St. Louis, which has won just four of its last 18 games (4-11-2-1), is hoping to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time in a quarter century - the longest streak in professional sports.

STANDINGS: Blues - 68 points, 3rd place, 15 PB, Central Division. Sharks - 79 points, 1st place, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blues - Keith Tkachuk, 26 goals and 58 points; Doug Weight, 41 assists; Mike Danton, 141 PIM. Sharks - Marleau, 27 goals and 47 points; Vincent Damphousse, 23 assists; Scott Parker, 91 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 27): Blues - Power play: 17.6 percent (48 for 273), 8th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.8 percent (258 for 308), 19th. Sharks - Power play: 15.2 percent (40 for 264), 20th. Penalty killing: 84.9 percent (219 for 258), 10th.

GOALTENDERS: Blues - Chris Osgood (22-20-6, 2 SO, 2.34 GAA); Reinhard Divis (3-3-1, 3.37). Sharks - Nabokov (21-15-7, 7, 2.05); Vesa Toskala (10-7-4, 2.11).

SEASON SERIES: Blues, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 3; Sharks, 3-1. At St. Louis, Niko Dimitrakos, Marco Sturm and Todd Harvey scored for the Sharks, and Toskala stopped 25 shots.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blues - 11-16-3-2 on the road; Sharks - 16-5-7-2 at home.


Associated Press
2003-2004 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 29 '04STL 0 at SJS 1J. Cheechoo
Jan 03 '04SJS 3 at STL 1M. Sturm
Dec 18 '03SJS 2 at STL 4J. Mayers
Nov 13 '03STL 4 at SJS 3 - OTP. Cajanek
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