TORONTO - For the second straight road game, the St. Louis Blues dug themselves a big hole early. This time, though, they managed to crawl out.
St. Louis fell behind 3-0 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday afternoon before the game was 17 minutes old. On Saturday night, the Blues spotted the New York Islanders a 4-1 first-period lead en route to a 5-2 loss.
But on Monday, St. Louis rallied for a 5-4 shootout win to improve to 2-1-0 on the season. The Blues beat Nashville 5-2 in the season opener Thursday, but allowed the first goal in that game as well.
"Yeah, we've got to get our heads out of our butts in the first period," said Blues goalie Manny Legace with a laugh. "Two slow starts . . . our goalie wasn't very good in the first period for us tonight.
"But the boys battled back and picked up an amazing two points for us."
Legace got the start against Toronto - the only game between the Blues and Leafs this season - after watching backup Chris Mason face the Islanders.
"Just like Long island, it wasn't the start we wanted," said winger Brad Boyes, whose goal 33 seconds into the second changed the tone of the game. "Toronto came out real hard at us . . . we can't keep falling behind like that.
"The Islanders' home opener, they were pretty jazzed up, and the Leafs were coming off a tough loss in their home opener so they were pumped up to play and for some reason we didn't respond. We responded in the second, but we have to learn we need to come out harder, especially on the road."
St. Louis coach Andy Murray agreed.
"We regrouped after a disappointing first period and found a way to get it going," he said. "I'm just happy with the victory.
"To be down 3-0 and come back and win . . . we've got time to talk about what happened in the first. But for now we can just enjoy the win."
St. Louis is off until Thursday when it hosts the Dallas Stars. The Blues hope forward Lee Stempniak, 25, will be back after tweaking his left knee against Nashville.
Stempniak, who scored 27 goals in 2006-'07 but just 13 last season, started the season at left wing with Andy McDonald and Boyes on the Blues' top line. The unit combined for five points against the Predators with Stempniak chipping in with an assist. He missed just two games last season and played all 82 contests in 2006-'07.