ST. LOUIS (AP) _ After 13 straight losses in regulation, an overtime setback
represented progress for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The NHL's worst team rallied from a two-goal deficit before Eric Boguniecki
scored with 2:54 left in the extra period to lift the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2
victory Saturday night.
``It was very important for us to play well,'' Penguins forward Brian
Holzinger said. ``It was a momentum builder, no doubt about it. Now it's up to
us to keep this going.''
Keith Tkachuk and Christian Backman also scored for the Blues, who recovered
in time to end a four-game losing streak at home. St. Louis, also mired in a
deep slump, won for only the second time in 12 games (2-9-1) and scored more
than two goals for only the second time in 13 games.
Coach Joel Quenneville will take the points, but grudgingly.
``When the game was on the line it was almost like we were getting nervous
and on our heels a little bit instead of proactive,'' Quenneville said. ``We'll
take a win out of it and hopefully that can help us, but we weren't crazy about
how we played the last half of the game.''
The Penguins had two good chances in overtime, including a backhander in
front of the net by Holzinger that was stopped by Chris Osgood, before
Boguniecki got his fifth goal.
Elevated to the first line for the game as the latest ploy by Quenneville,
Boguniecki stopped a weak point shot from Eric Weinrich with his stick in front
of the net and then slipped the puck around Sebastien Caron.
``Those are the ones that go in, the stupid ugly ones,'' Boguniecki said.
``That's how it is. The shot you think you're going to score on usually doesn't
Holzinger called it a ``heartbreaking'' goal.
Ryan Malone had tied it early in the third period for the Penguins with his
fourth goal in three games, and Ted Kotsopoulos also scored in the second
Power-play goals in the first period by Tkachuk and Backman ended the Blues'
1-for-33 slump with the man advantage.
``The power play started off really good,'' Backman said. ``I thought we
played great the first half of the game, and when they scored their first goal
we just stopped playing. I don't know why.''
Malone took advantage of a dump-in pass that got caught in Chris Pronger's
skates, swooping in and then around the defenseman for the tying goal at 1:44
of the third. The Penguins have 31 points in 58 games, by far the lowest total
in the NHL.
The Blues entered having scored only 17 goals in the previous 13 games. The
four-game losing streak at home was their longest slump since they dropped five
in a row from Jan. 21-Feb. 13, 1999.