ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Vesa Toskala has learned to make the most of his
The San Jose Sharks' backup goalie, who had not played since losing in St.
Louis 4-2 on Dec. 18, turned the tables on the Blues, making 25 saves to lead
the Sharks to a 3-1 victory Saturday night.
"I just have to do my best when I get a chance," said Toskala, who
improved to 7-4-4. "Fortunately, we have been winning most of the games I've
Sharks coach Ron Wilson said that Toskala is not the type who is bothered by
a lack of work.
"He works hard in practice," Wilson said. "Plus, I don't think he's the
type who feels a lot of pressure. He's not out there worried that he's going to
let the team down."
Toskala acknowledged that he was a little rusty after not seeing action for
"It took me a little while to get into the game," he said. "By the third
period, I thought I was seeing puck really well."
Nicholas Dimitrakos, Marco Sturm and Todd Harvey scored for San Jose, which
has won six of eight. The Sharks have recorded at least one point in 26 of
their last 31 games.
Scott Mellanby scored his sixth goal for St. Louis. After losing just once
in their first 16 home games, the Blues have dropped two of three there.
Mellanby felt the Blues could have given Toskala more of a challenge.
"I don't know much about him, but we certainly didn't test him the way we
need to," Mellanby said. "They boxed out well around their net. We have to
pay a little bit more of a price to get in there."
Blues coach Joel Quenneville also was not happy.
"I thought tonight was clearly a lack of effort," Quenneville said. "Just
getting outworked, outhustled and that's basically it."
Chris Osgood, who missed the last two games with a bruised right knee, made
30 saves for the Blues. Keith Tkachuk earned his 799th career point with an
assist on Mellanby's goal.
San Jose trailed 1-0 entering the second period, but the Sharks took the
lead on special teams.
The Sharks tied it at 6:40 of the second during a two-man advantage when
Dimitrakos tipped Brad Stuart's pass from the right point past Osgood for his
While the Sharks were short-handed, they went ahead at 10:07 when Alyn
McCauley outmuscled Chris Pronger for the puck in the left corner and centered
it to Sturm in front. Sturm slid a shot under Osgood for his 13th goal to make
Harvey sealed the victory when he scored with 4:30 remaining.
The Blues took a 1-0 lead at 7:14 of the first period when Mellanby
deflected Pronger's shot from the right point past Toskala.