ST. LOUIS (AP) _ In overtime, Pavol Demitra said the St. Louis Blues had the
New York Islanders right where they wanted them.
``We have a lot of great players, and that sure makes it fun to play
4-on-4,'' Demitra said.
Demitra, who dislocated a finger on his left hand earlier in the game, ended
the fun with his 21st goal 1:01 into overtime to give the Blues a 3-2 win. The
victory extended the Blues' unbeaten streak to four games, and more
importantly, earned them an extra point.
``We wanted to get to overtime and win the game,'' said Blues coach Mike
Kitchen. ``We needed that (extra point).''
St. Louis has mastered the art of picking up the extra point in overtime.
The Blues lead the league with 10 overtime wins and are 10-2-9 in overtime
``We try to go out and win the game (in overtime),'' Kitchen said. ``We
don't play for the tie. You already have one point, so why not try for two?
Those extra 10 points we have are extremely valuable.''
Keith Tkachuk and Alexander Khavanov scored power-play goals for St. Louis
and Chris Osgood made 22 saves.
Shawn Bates and Mark Parrish scored for the Islanders, who made the most of
their limited opportunities against Osgood. Parrish scored his 17th goal on the
Islanders' only shot of the second period. Bates scored his ninth on New York's
next shot, 1:26 into the third period.
However, Islanders coach Steve Stirling was not upset with his team's
``It's always disappointing when you give up one in overtime to lose, but we
did some good things,'' Stirling said. ``There's enough positives to build
St. Louis has six points in its last three games against Eastern Conference
opponents and 24 points overall, which is more than any other team in the
The Blues are tied with Los Angeles, which beat Phoenix, for the eighth
playoff spot in the Western Conference.
New York has won just once in its last eight games and is winless in its
Demitra won it when he broke in on right wing, cut to the middle and
surprised New York goalie Rick DiPietro with a wrist shot. The puck trickled
through DiPietro and over the goal line.
``They kind of pushed our (defense) in at the blue line and gave Demitra the
puck wide, and he made a head fake and cut in,'' DiPietro said. ``I think it
hit his stick and dipped down. It was one of those weird bounces.''
``It was one of those where he was expecting a real bullet and he got a
knuckleball,'' Stirling said. ``Sometimes, those are hard to take.''
With the game tied 1-1, Bates got behind the Blues' defense and broke in
alone on Osgood. He lifted the puck over Osgood to give the Islanders the lead.
But Khavanov tied it again on his second goal of the season when he banged
the rebound of Eric Weinrich's shot past DiPietro, who made 36 saves.
Tkachuk broke the ice with a power-play goal 57 seconds into the second
period. With the Islanders' Roman Hamrlik serving a roughing minor, Tkachuk
worked a perfect give-and-go with Christian Backman. Tkachuk split the
Islanders' defense and lifted a backhander over DiPietro for his 28th goal.
The Blues outshot the Islanders 12-1 in the period. The Islanders' shot was
a wrist shot by Parrish from the right circle, which beat Osgood to the far
side to tie the game 1-1.