EDMONTON - Doug Weight's first goal of the season came much later than he would have liked, though it was a timely one for the St. Louis Blues.
Weight scored in the third period to lead the Blues to a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night, giving St. Louis its ninth victory in 12 games (9-2-1).
Weight, limited to just six assists in 25 games coming in, banked the puck off the skate of Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert and past goalie Mathieu Garon.
"The puck went in and it was a great relief," Weight said. "And it was great to contribute to the win and not have to hear from everybody else trying to pump me up. Now hopefully I can get on a roll. I felt a lot lighter and better with the puck instantly. I felt like a different player."
Blues head coach Andy Murray says it was nice to see Weight, a former Oilers captain, finally score.
"It was really special for Doug," he said. "He must have felt like a rookie getting his first goal. To be able to do it here in Edmonton and it was such a big goal at the time it came."
Brad Boyes scored twice and Paul Kariya had the eventual game-winner for the Blues.
"We've been winning and we're doing well in the standings," Boyes said. "We have to keep going, keep rolling. You want to contribute and it's so tight, up two points one night, lose a couple spots in the standings the next night. I'm just trying to help out as much as I can."
Shawn Horcoff, Robert Nilsson and Marty Reasoner had the goals for Edmonton, which lost its second straight. The Oilers sat out forwards Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres as a result of a third-period collapse in a loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
"We gave up some untimely goals and it cost us again," Oilers forward Dustin Penner said. "It's a lack of focus, especially when you enter the third period tied with a team that is as good as St. Louis. You have to kick it up a notch. And we didn't.
"It seems like right now it is two steps forwards and one step back. We have to start moving forward again."
Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish says he felt it was time to shake things up in the room a bit by sending a message to Stoll and Torres.
"I analyzed it from a thousand different perspectives and at the end of the day, based on how they were playing, that we wouldn't be that far behind in terms of giving up the game tonight or something," he said. "At the same time we hope that it has a residual effect on them. That they get a look at things from a different perspective and realize what a privilege it is to be in that lineup."
The Blues scored twice in a 54-second span in the third period to take a 3-1 lead. Boyes got his second of the game just more 3 minutes in as Erik Johnson faked a shot and found him open at the faceoff circle for his 17th of the season.
Not long after that, Weight got his goal.
Sam Ganger spotted Nilsson open at the side of the net for an easy tap-in with just under 8 minutes left to get the Oilers within a goal.
However, the Blues restored their two-goal lead 2 minutes later when three Oilers defenders were unable to clear a puck in front of their net and it popped loose to Kariya, who put a backhand shot past Garon.
Reasoner scored with just 39 seconds to go while the Oilers were skating with an extra attacker.
"We got ourselves in a little trouble there but in the end we battled hard and deserved the win," Blues goalie Hannu Toivonen said. "Good teams find a way to win and we did today."
St. Louis starting the scoring midway through the first period as Boyes corralled a bouncing puck in front of the Oilers' net and he skated around a defender before sending a wrist shot past Garon.
Edmonton was able to tie score with just 1:19 left in the period when Ales Hemsky made a terrific backhand feed to Horcoff, who blasted a one-timer past Toivonen to extend his points scoring streak to six games.
Notes: Recent callups Patrick Thoresen and Liam Reddox replaced Stoll and Torres in the lineup. It was Reddox's first NHL game. ... With Torres sitting in the press box it marked the end of his iron man streak at 215 games - the 15th longest streak in Oilers history. ... Edmonton D Dick Tarnstrom took the morning skate but did not dress. He'll likely be ready for the team's three-game road trip. ... Also, Oilers D Sheldon Souray, out with a shoulder injury since Oct. 13, is back on skates and could return to the lineup as early as next week. ... Toivonen got the call in the St. Louis net with usual starter Manny Legace still nursing a knee injury suffered in the pregame warmup in Calgary on Tuesday. The Blues recalled Marek Schwarz from the minors to back up Toivonen.
|Brad Boyes (16) Snap shot - ASST: Lee Stempniak (11), Jay McClement (3)|
1 - 0 STL
|Shawn Horcoff (13) Snap shot - ASST: Ales Hemsky (13)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Brad Boyes (17) Slapshot - ASST: Erik Johnson (6), Keith Tkachuk (15)|
2 - 1 STL
|Doug Weight (1) Wrist shot - ASST: David Perron (4)|
3 - 1 STL
|Robert Nilsson (3) Tip-in - ASST: Sam Gagner (10)|
3 - 2 STL
|Paul Kariya (8) Backhand shot - ASST: Keith Tkachuk (16)|
4 - 2 STL
|Marty Reasoner (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Shawn Horcoff (17), Dustin Penner (9)|
4 - 3 STL
|Jay McClement Hooking against Dustin Penner|
|Bryce Salvador Hooking against Ales Hemsky|
|Mathieu Garon Holding the stick against Brad Boyes|
|Eric Brewer Holding against Liam Reddox|
|Marty Reasoner Holding against Jamal Mayers|
|Doug Weight Hooking against Fernando Pisani|
|Tom Gilbert Hi-sticking against Paul Kariya|
|Barret Jackman Tripping against Fernando Pisani|
|Patrick Thoresen Hooking against David Perron|
|Fernando Pisani Hooking against Eric Brewer|
|Erik Johnson Roughing against Andrew Cogliano|