McKay makes quick impact, lifts new team

Thursday, March 21, 2002

The AssociatedPress

DALLAS -- Randy McKay wasted no time making his presence felt with the Dallas Stars.

McKay had two assists, including a nifty one-handed flick while his other arm was locked up by a defender that Kirk Muller turned into the game-winner as the Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 Wednesday night.

McKay was playing his first game for Dallas one day after being traded from New Jersey with Jason Arnott for Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner. Arnott didn't play because of a sore back that's been bothered him for more than a week.

The Stars also were without Jere Lehtinen (ankle) and Pierre Turgeon (back).

The victory gives Dallas 78 points, tying Phoenix for seventh place and getting within one of St. Louis in the heated battle for the final spots in the Western Conference playoff chase, which also includes Vancouver and Edmonton.

McKay was an unlikely source to spark the Stars' offense. He had only seven assists and six goals in 55 games with the Devils this season.

But McKay helped set up a second-period goal by Richard Matvichuk that tied the game at 2, then with 17:03 left in the third period, he fought off Jeff Finley and nudged the puck to Muller, who was wide open. He knocked the puck past goaltender Brent Johnson for his eight goal of the season.

The Blues, who were seeking the 1,200th victory in the franchise's 35-year history, went on a power play with 2:37 left but failed to score despite several good looks, including one from just outside the crease by Chris Pronger. Pavol Demitra started raising his arms in celebration after one shot, then wrapped them around his head when it went wide.

Dallas' Ed Belfour made 23 saves to end an 11-game winless streak (0-8-3) against St. Louis, counting a four-game sweep in last season's playoffs. Johnson stopped 20 shots.

The Stars ended a two-game losing streak at home and remained unbeaten in their last five.

After a scoreless first period, both teams scored twice in the second.

Sergei Zubov got it started for Dallas with a slap shot off a feed from Modano on a power play. St. Louis took a 2-1 lead on a 50-footer by Alexander Khavanov and a shot by Ray Ferraro that ricocheted in off Belfour's leg.

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