Blues eager to get key players back for Game 2

Saturday, May 4, 2002

DETROIT -- The St. Louis Blues hope to have a big part of their team back for Game 2 of their second-round playoff series against the Detroit Red Wings.

St. Louis wasn't as physical as usual in Thursday night's 2-0 loss in Game 1. A big reason was the absence of rugged forwards Dallas Drake and Tyson Nash. Drake still was suffering from a concussion he suffered in the first round against Chicago, and Nash had the flu.

"They bring an edge to the game that we have to establish," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said. "We didn't feel that was there last night."

But he said that after good practices Friday, both should be ready to play today.

Without Drake and Nash, the Blues had to rely more on Keith Tkachuk, Jamal Mayers, Scott Mellanby, Ray Ferraro and Shjon Podein for physical play up front.

"Drake is known for hitting, and he's fast, so he can get to loose pucks," Detroit forward Kirk Maltby said. "Nash plays a chippy and physical game. We know when they're in there, we have to play more cautious and heads-up."

The Blues feel they have to be as physical as possible with the Red Wings.

"You look up and down their lineup, and they've got a few guys who want to play physically," said St. Louis defenseman Chris Pronger. "But mostly, they're guys who want to skate and make plays."

Red-hot Hasek

The Red Wings have hit the wall in the first or second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs every year since 1999. Now their own wall of sorts, Dominik Hasek, has got them thinking they can break through.

Hasek posted his fifth consecutive win -- and second shutout in three games -- in Detroit's victory Thursday night.

"In the playoffs, a shutout doesn't mean a thing," said Hasek, who made 23 saves to record his eighth career playoff shutout. "It's just important that we win some games at home."

Around the league

  • The Mighty Ducks are looking for a new coach.

    After one season, Bryan Murray has left to become the team's senior vice president and general manager.

    Murray will replace Pierre Gauthier, who was fired as GM on April 19.

    Under Murray, Anaheim went 29-42-8-3 to finish 13th in the Western Conference and last in the Pacific Division. They missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season, falling 35 points shy of a postseason berth.

    Murray was the Florida Panthers' general manager from 1994 to 2001.

    -- From wire reports

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