ST. LOUIS (AP) _ St. Louis Blues center Doug Weight scored his first goal in
18 games and he celebrated by pumping his fist in the air.
Goalie Chris Osgood made Weight's goal stand and he got his 41st career
shutout to brighten the playoff hopes of the Blues, who defeated the Edmonton
Oilers 1-0 Tuesday night.
``It was a big goal for our team,'' Weight said. ``It's emotional. It's the
playoffs for us right now.''
St. Louis won its fourth straight game to remain in seventh place in the
Western Conference playoff race with 89 points. The Blues have reached the NHL
playoffs for 24 consecutive years _ the longest streak in professional sports.
But Blues coach Mike Kitchen said his team has not won anything yet.
``There's no luxury at all,'' said Kitchen, 8-5-4 since taking over after
Joel Quenneville was fired. ``It will go right down to the end. Our biggest
relief is how we played.
``Tonight was just a perfect hockey game. We did all the good things we
needed to do.''
``That was a great one-goal win,'' he said.
Edmonton, beaten for the first time in more than a month, has 87 points and
dropped to ninth place when Nashville defeated Chicago to move into the eighth
and final playoff spot. The Predators also have 87 points but have one extra
The Blues and Predators each have three games to play, including one against
each other in Nashville. The Oilers have two road games remaining.
Osgood made 18 saves to pick up his third shutout of the season and first
since Nov. 15 at Los Angeles.
``I focused on the puck and not think about other things,'' Osgood said. ``I
really can't control how many goals we score. My job is to follow the puck.''
The Oilers had earned a point in 16 consecutive games, going 10-0-2-4 before
the loss. The most recent Edmonton loss was Feb. 25 at Anaheim.
The Blues maintained their mastery over the Oilers at home. St. Louis last
lost at home to Edmonton on Feb. 13, 1999, when the Oilers earned a 3-2
decision. The Oilers are 0-8-3 in that span.
``Well, they have a good team,'' Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said about
the Oilers' inability to win in St. Louis. ``They've had a good team here for
10 years and our team is getting better but this is a game we should have been
able to jump up and grab.''
St. Louis is 9-2-2 in its last 13 games. The Blues have played 34 one-goal
games this season, going 24-10.
The Blues' only goal came when Weight deflected in a slap shot from the top
of the slot by Chris Pronger for a power-play goal at 13:46 of the first
period. Weight had not scored since Feb. 20 against Detroit.
``The pass almost had eyes,'' Weight said. ``Pronger is so composed and so
good. I knew he saw me. I just had to decide on the five-hole or try and put it
upstairs. It was perfect to put upstairs.''
Edmonton is 29th in the league killing penalties on the road and 27th
overall. The Oilers have allowed 41 goals in 180 chances while short-handed.
The Oilers had just one shot on goal in the first 17 minutes of the second
period and finished with just three shots despite having two power-play
opportunities. St. Louis ended with 10 shots.
The Blues' best scoring chance came late with a three-on-one rush that ended
with Edmonton goalie Jussi Markkanen, who faced 28 shots, stopping Weight's
shot with less than 50 seconds left in the period.
``We did a pretty good job. There weren't a lot of second shots in front of
the net,'' Markkanen said. ``It's just a one goal difference tonight.''