Blues rally, win with three late goals

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

ST. LOUIS -- Chris Osgood wasn't overly pleased with his home debut with the Blues, but he'll happily take the win.

Osgood managed to earn his second straight victory with the Blues, despite saving only 21 of 25 shots Tuesday in St. Louis' 6-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

The Blues acquired him just before the NHL trade deadline last week to shore up their shaky goaltending. In his first start for St. Louis at Nashville, Osgood stopped 35 shots in a 1-0 win last Saturday.

"I felt sharp," said Osgood, who improved to 12-1-4 against Vancouver. "You're not always going to get the bounces. You have to battle and figure out who to make the big saves at the right time to keep your team in it. It's fun playing in a game like this that means something.

"I would have loved to let in less than four goals but I mean, sometimes the bounces don't go your way. You have to battle through and find a way to win."

Peter Cajanek and Eric Boguniecki scored 40 seconds apart in the third period for St. Louis, which trailed 4-3 heading into the second period despite outshooting the Canucks 22-20.

Dan Cloutier made his first start for the Canucks since Feb. 25 when he hurt his knee against Atlanta.

Boguniecki pulled the Blues even at 4 with a power-play goal at 3:35 of the third. The puck came to Boguniecki at the side of the net after a shot by Dallas Drake bounced off a Vancouver defenseman. He scored into an open net.

Cajanek scored his second goal of the game 40 seconds later on a deflected wrist shot from the top of the slot, putting St. Louis ahead for the first time at 5-4.

"I'm not sure what happened," Cloutier said. "I can't even think about them right now. I can't remember them all there were so many. I didn't feel rusty at all. I knew coming in it was going to be a high-scoring game. The times we've played St. Louis it's been like that."

Scott Mellanby finished the scoring with his second goal, into an empty net, with 45 seconds remaining.

The Blues outshot Vancouver 13-5 in the final period and 35-25 in the game. It was the fourth and final meeting between the teams. Vancouver won the season series 2-1-1.

"I don't think we ran out of gas," Canucks coach Marc Crawford said. "We just made a few mistakes."

Canucks forward Markus Naslund agreed.

"I thought we were sloppy throughout the game," Naslund said. "We gave up a lot of chances and that resulted in goals. Our team defense wasn't what it was supposed to be."

St. Louis is 7-1-1 in its last nine games and unbeaten in five home games.

The Canucks took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Brendan Morrison and Trevor Linden.

"This was a dangerous game," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we stayed with it pretty well after getting down 2-0 early."

A St. Louis goal was disallowed at 8:45 for goalie interference by Tyson Nash. The Blues cut the lead to 2-1 when Dallas Drake scored on a rebound at 14:46.

In the second period, St. Louis got goals by Cajanek and Mellanby but Trent Klatt and Daniel Sedin scored for Vancouver as the Canucks took a 4-3 lead into the third period.

Notes: Blues RW Valeri Bure, acquired March 11 from Florida, has yet to play for the Blues. He is recovering from a sprained knee and is expected to be out for another week. ... The Blues released G Fred Brathwaite.

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