Blues use overtime for first win of season

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

ST. LOUIS -- Once the Blues got into overtime, the plan was simple.

"When you get into overtime, you try to win it," defenseman Al MacInnis said. "That's what we were trying to do."

And the Blues did. Rookie defenseman Tom Koivisto scored at 3:49 of overtime to give St. Louis a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.

Koivisto kept the puck in along the blue line on a pass from Pavol Demita. He threw it on net and it got through a bunch of players in front for the goal.

Carolina goalie Kevin Weekes gave credit to Koivisto.

"That's a smart play by him, especially with traffic converging in front of the net," Weekes said. "I said the other day those are the toughest ones to stop."

Koivisto said he was just trying to make something happen.

"The puck was bouncing a little bit and I saw Petr (Cajanek) go in front of the net and I only tried to shoot in front of the net because I saw him go in front and screen (Weekes)," said Koivisto, who has two goals this season. "I don't think (Weekes) saw the puck."

The goal gave the Blues (1-1-1) their first win of the season.

"I didn't see the shot," MacInnis said. "The best thing I saw was it going in. It was a great shot. It was a big win for us, believe me."

The Blues have scored only six goals this season. St. Louis did not score on six power-play opportunities against the Hurricanes.

"This was a huge two points for us," Blues center Doug Weight said. "Hopefully, we can build on it."

Carolina, which lost to Detroit in the Stanley Cup finals last spring, has just one win in four games. Jaroslav Svoboda scored in the first period for the Hurricanes.

"It's nice to win after being down by one going into the third period," MacInnis said.

Alexander Khavanov scored at 3:58 of the third period to tie it for the Blues. The deflected puck came to an open Khavanov, who got his first goal of the season.

Each team started new a goalie. Rookie Reinhard Divis was in net for St. Louis, and Weekes got the nod for the Hurricanes.

Divis made 23 saves. Weekes stopped 27 shots.

Divis was St. Louis' top goalie in the minors last year and is the first Austrian-born player to start an NHL game. It was Divis' second career appearance -- he played 25 minutes last season against Colorado.

Fred Brathwaite, who started the first two games for the Blues, is out with a groin sprain. Last year's starting goalie, Brent Johnson, remains out with a high ankle sprain.

Weekes started in place of Arturs Irbe, who allowed three goals on eight first-period shots in last Saturday's 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Weekes entered that game in the second period and finished.

Weekes stopped 11 second-period shots by the Blues, who were 0-for-3 on the power play. The two best chances for St. Louis came on a shot by Reed Low from the side of the net and a slap shot from Keith Tkachuk from the faceoff circle.

"We played well in the second period," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was a hard battle out there. Everybody was fighting for position. The checking was fierce."

Svoboda outmuscled St. Louis rookie defenseman Barret Jackman and scored at 7:34 of the first period. Jeff O'Neill's shot squirted by Divis and Svoboda moved Jackman out and tapped in the puck for a power-play goal and a 1-0 lead.

"Every goal gets you going even if it's a rebound," Svoboda said. "We'll take every goal we can get. We felt pretty good after that but they came back in the second and came out pretty strong and we didn't answer with any other goals. They came out on top at the end."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: