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San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues

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GAME: San Jose Sharks (0-2-0) at St. Louis Blues (0-2-0).

TIME: Saturday, 8 p.m. EDT.

The St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks are still searching for win No. 1 as they meet for the first time since the 2004 playoffs.

The Blues have opened the new season with back-to-back losses to Detroit. The latest setback was a 4-3 loss in their home opener Thursday.

St. Louis is trying to look at the bright side of Thursday's game. The Blues scored twice in the final period and nearly rallied to tie the game in the closing seconds after being outscored 9-2 over the first five periods this season.

"We can build off the third period," Blues coach Mike Kitchen said. "Our energy was much better in this game."

Doug Weight had a goal and an assist for St. Louis, while defenseman Andy Roach scored his first career goal.

Goaltender Patrick Lalime, who was pulled in the opener, fell to 0-2 after allowing four goals on 27 shots. Lalime is 4-1 in his career against the Sharks.

San Jose eliminated St. Louis in five games in the 2004 Western Conference quarterfinals.

The Sharks have also dropped two straight to start the season on the heels of an unbeaten preseason. San Jose surrendered three goals in the first period of Friday's 6-3 setback in Chicago.

Josh Gorges made his debut with San Jose. The 21-year-old defenseman turned in some solid minutes in the preseason that impressed coach Ron Wilson.

Goaltender Vesa Toskala was pulled Friday after allowing four goals on 14 shots. Evgeni Nabokov, who Wilson indicated would start Saturday, finished up and logged the final 37 minutes.

STANDINGS: Sharks - 0 points, 4th place (tied), 2 PB, Pacific Division. Blues - 0 points, 3rd place (tied), 4 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Sharks - Five tied with 1 goal; Milan Michalek, 2 assists and 3 points; Ryane Clowe, 7 PIM. Blues - Weight, Dean McAmmond, Andy Roach and Eric Brewer, 1 goals; Petr Cajanek, 3 assists and 3 points; Jamal Mayers, 7 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 6): Sharks - Power play: 0 percent (0 for 6), 22nd (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 100 percent (3 for 3), 1st (tied). Blues - Power play: 11.7 percent (2 for 17), 17th. Penalty killing: 78.5 percent (11 for 14), 21st.

GOALTENDERS: Sharks - Nabokov (0-1-0, 2.40 GAA); Toskala (0-1-0, 10.62) Blues - Lalime (0-2-0, 5.27); Reinhard Divis (0-0-0, 2.14).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2.

LAST REGULAR-SEASON MEETING: Feb. 29, 2004; Sharks, 1-0. At San Jose, Calif., Nabakov made 24 saves for his eighth shutout of the season and Jonathan Cheechoo scored in the third period for the Sharks.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sharks - 0-2-0 on the road; Blues - 0-1-0 at home.


Associated Press

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