ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Two strange bounces turned out just fine for St. Louis
Blues forward Mark Rycroft.
Rycroft had two goals, helping the Blues snap the Nashville Predators'
six-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory Saturday night.
"Rebounds are kind of where the game is at right now," said Rycroft, who
raised his season scoring total to three. "Throw everything at the net and try
to get something. Three of our goals tonight came off their deflections. You
never know how this crazy game will go."
Rycroft's goals came in the third period, padding Blues' lead.
A shot by Rycroft deflected off Scott Walker's stick at 2:31 of the third
period to give St. Louis a 3-1 lead. And Rycroft took a pass from Petr Cajanek
and scored from the left faceoff circle at 17:28.
"The first goal I threw it in front and I guess their defenseman knocked it
in," Rycroft said. "I haven't seen the replay. The second one, their player
deflected it into the corner so that was good. Sometimes you win."
With the victory, the Blues moved back into a tie for first place in the
Central Division with Detroit, which overcame a three-goal deficit and rallied
to tie St. Louis on Thursday. The Red Wings lost 5-2 to Toronto earlier
"We really don't look at the standings much now," Blues forward Dallas
Drake said. "You look more at the standings at the end of the year when you're
fighting for a playoff spot."
The Predators, playing for the third time in four days, are 10-3 in their
last 13 games. Nashville is four points behind the Blues and Red Wings.
"It's always going to come to an end," Nashville coach Barry Trotz of the
Predators' winning streak. "You're not going to win 70 in a row or something
St. Louis goalie Chris Osgood faced only 15 shots in the victory.
Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun, who won a franchise record seven straight
starts and 10 of his last 11, took the loss. Vokoun faced five shots and
allowed two goals before leaving the game after the first period suffering from
effects of the flu.
"He was a little bit sick, and he came in and said 'I can't find the puck.'
As soon as I start moving around, I'm lightheaded and all that," Trotz said.
Mike Danton and Pavol Demitra scored first-period goals for the Blues, who
held a 2-1 lead after one.
Danton scored from the left faceoff circle at 7:16 of the first. Cajanek and
Rycroft picked up assists. Demitra scored at 9:10, taking a pass from Keith
Tkachuk just inside the blue line and beating Vokoun on his glove side.
Nashville cut the lead to one goal when Vladimir Orszagh scored from the
left faceoff circle at 14:20.
The Predators, who had scored at a least one power-play goal in four of
their previous six games, failed to score on four man-advantage chances.
The Blues rank first in the NHL on the penalty kill at home. St. Louis has
killed 48 of 50 penalties at home. In their last 10 games overall, the Blues
have stopped 34 of 36 power-play chances.
"We're doing a good job from preventing easy access to our zone to trying
to kill plays as quickly as possible," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said.
"We're not giving up dangerous shots. We're working a lot of guys in the mix
of it and I think they take a lot of pride in killing it."