CHICAGO (AP) -- Michael Leighton's second NHL shutout turned out better than
Leighton stopped 23 shots to earn his first shutout this season and led the
Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.
He played in a scoreless tie in his NHL debut last season for
"The team played great tonight," Leighton said. "Having a three-goal lead
felt great. That's a game you have to win.
"And the team played well defensively. I just can't say enough about it."
Steve Sullivan, Scott Nichol and Tyler Arnason scored for the Blackhawks,
who won for only the second time in 21 games (2-12-4-3). They also ended a
five-game winless streak (0-3-2).
Chicago scored three goals or more for the first time in six games, the
second time in 11 and third time in 17 contests. The Blackhawks entered
Tuesday's game with 63 goals, second fewest in the NHL.
"It was huge," Sullivan said of the three-goal output. "We've been known
to blow a one-goal lead in the third period. We kept scoring and working after
we got the first goal."
The Blues have lost two straight following a nine-game unbeaten streak when
they went 7-0-2.
"I don't think we crashed the net enough," St. Louis coach Joel
Quenneville said. "I know that we were looking to score ugly goals and trying
to get some plays where you get the fortunate bounces. That did materialize
because I don't think we pursued that territory enough."
St. Louis goalie Brent Johnson, playing in only his eighth game, made 18
'I wasn't as sharp as I could have been, but I hadn't played in a while,"
Johnson said. "I was just trying to do a bit too much and overreacting,
especially on Arnason's goal."
Sullivan opened the scoring 1:41 in after beating Blues defenseman Chris
Pronger in the slot.
Sullivan broke in over the St. Louis blue line and faked his way around
Pronger, who was caught flat-footed. After fanning on his first shot attempt,
Sullivan then slid a shot between Johnson's legs.
Nichol made it 2-0 at 1:27 of the third with a wraparound goal from behind
After picking up the puck in the right corner, Nichol skated behind the net
and tucked a shot between Johnson's legs from the left edge of the crease.
Arnason gave Chicago a 3-0 lead 2:02 later with a breakaway goal. He picked
up a loose puck at center ice, skated in alone and beat Johnson with a high
shot on the stick side.
Leighton's toughest stop in the third period was a glove save on Christian
Backman's 40-foot shot at 7:30.