ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Chris Osgood is back to being stingy. Too bad the St. Louis
Blues haven't been able to score for him.
Osgood made 31 saves, including a penalty shot by Ryan Smyth, to help the
Blues tie the Edmonton Oilers 1-1 Thursday night.
``Ozzie held the fort,'' defenseman Chris Pronger said. ``He held strong for
us. When he's playing like that, we should win a lot of games.''
Instead, the Blues earned only their second point in five games under new
coach Mike Kitchen. They're 0-3-2 in that span, totaling five goals and getting
shut out twice, and 0-5-2 in their last seven overall.
Osgood has allowed only one goal in two recent games.
``The last five games I've probably played better than I did at the start of
the year, but I've got no wins,'' Osgood said. ``It's kind of weird. I just try
to stop it and let the guys do their thing.''
St. Louis stayed two points ahead of the Oilers, their closest pursuer on
the fringe of the Western Conference playoff race. The Blues entered the night
in ninth place, four points behind Los Angeles for the final spot.
Alexander Khavanov ended a 62-game goal drought early in the third period
for the Blues, and Raffi Torres got his 19th for the Oilers to force overtime.
Petr Nedved had an assist in his first game with Edmonton since being acquired
from the New York Rangers.
Osgood was at his best in regulation, while Jussi Markkanen, also obtained
from the Rangers on Wednesday, stopped eight shots in overtime for Edmonton.
Dallas Drake hit the post with 4:05 to go for St. Louis.
``I thought we played very well for most of the 60 minutes,'' Markkanen
said. ``Towards the end we got a little tired and their skilled guys got more
room and they were able to get some chances.''
The highlight of the first two periods was Smyth's unsuccessful penalty
shot, the first of his career, at 7:45 of the second. He got it after Pronger
threw his stick trying to stop a breakaway. Smyth blocked Pronger's shot from
the point on the opposite end, then broke free.
Osgood made a somewhat routine save on Smyth's low backhander to preserve
the scoreless tie.
``I had my move in my mind right away but he followed me all the way and I
didn't freeze him enough,'' Smyth said. ``I was a little nervous, that being my
first penalty shot.''
Khavanov's first goal since Feb. 13, 2003, put the Blues ahead at 1:42 of
the third. Khavanov was activated earlier Thursday after missing 15 games with
a bruised ankle, and his offensive instincts helped when he pinched and was
alone for the rebound of a shot by Pavol Demitra.
Torres' second goal in three games tied it at 8:31. The goal came at the end
of a flurry of shots against Osgood.