Blues get game-winner late vs. Predators

Sunday, March 16, 2003

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Cory Stillman scored with four minutes left and Chris Osgood stopped 35 shots in his St. Louis debut as the Blues beat the Nashville Predators 1-0 Saturday night.

The teams appeared to be headed to overtime for the fourth straight time in the series, but the Blues -- who lead the NHL when it comes to outscoring opponents in the third period -- finally got to Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun.

Pavol Demitra sent the puck off the boards, and the puck slid across the crease as Vokoun skated back in front of the goal. Stillman scored his 22nd of the season when he poked the puck under Vokoun's left leg.

Nashville thought it had tied the game as time expired when Scott Walker beat Osgood over his glove hand. Officials reviewed the play with the Blues celebrating on the ice and ruled the game had ended before the puck crossed the line.

The Predators entered the game just six points behind Edmonton for eighth place in the Western Conference. But they have won only once since losing leading scorer David Legwand to a broken collarbone, and they now have scored only nine goals over their last seven games.

It was the closest the Predators have come to a playoff-like atmosphere in Nashville with their fifth sellout crowd of the season.

At least the teams combined for more offense than the last time they met, a 2-1 overtime victory by St. Louis on March 4. The teams had a total of 31 shots in that game.

, and Nashville outshot the Blues 35-33 Saturday night.

Nashville had its chances but couldn't convert on three power plays with one in each period.

The Blues played without Keith Tkachuk, who severely sprained his right wrist Thursday night and is expected to miss the rest of the regular season. The Blues are 12-5-0-1 without Tkachuk this season.

But St. Louis had Osgood, picked up from the New York Islanders at the trade deadline Tuesday, playing in his first game with the Blues. He became the seventh goalie for St. Louis this season, tying an NHL record for netminders in a season.

Notes: Vancouver clinched a playoff spot with Nashville's loss. ... The Blues have outscored opponents 89-55 in the third period. ... Vokoun tied Mike Dunham's Nashville record for games played in a season at 58. Vokoun has played in 46 of the last 47 games since Dunham was traded Dec. 12 to the New York Rangers. ... Nashville D Andy Delmore missed his second straight game with an injured wrist. ... The 1989-90 Quebec Nordiques also used seven goalies.

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