Kitchen gets first coaching victory
Sunday, March 7, 2004
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The biggest emotion the St. Louis Blues felt after beating the New York Islanders was relief.
Former Islanders goalie Chris Osgood stopped 39 shots, and Keith Tkachuk scored his team-leading 27th goal late in the second period to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-2 victory over New York on Saturday night.
The win was the first for the Blues in eight games (1-4-2-1), and gave new coach Mike Kitchen his first NHL win.
"It was nice," Kitchen said. "It wasn't our best played game, and we were a bit nervous in the third period, but we got the win."
Pavol Demitra, Mark Rycroft and Petr Cajanek also scored for the Blues, who are fighting to stay in contention for a Western Conference playoff spot. St. Louis has reached the postseason 24 straight years.
Newcomer Mike Sillinger chipped in with a pair of assists, including one on Tkachuk's game winner.
"The situation in Phoenix was that we were 14 points out of the playoffs," Sillinger said. "We're not there yet here, but we're close, and all I want is the chance to make March interesting."
Osgood, traded away by the Islanders last March, improved to 23-22-7 on the season. Jason Blake and Mark Parrish scored for the Islanders, who have one win in seven games (1-3-2-1) and are trying to hold off Buffalo for the final playoff spot in the East.
"It's great to come back here," Osgood said.
Rick DiPietro stopped 14 shots for the Islanders.