Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Devils Get Their Due: Beat Blues

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Devils Get Their Due: Beat Blues

Article excerpt

One of Mike Keenan's former Chicago Blackhawks came up big on Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, it wasn't one of his current players. Steve Thomas, who played for Keenan in Chicago, scored two goals in leading New Jersey to a 4-2 victory over the Blues.

"That was the Steve Thomas of old," said ex-Hawks teammate Mike Hudson, who scored the Blues' first goal - his first in a Blues uniform. "He played really strong. He dominated the game.

"When he's on, he's one of the better power forwards in the league."

Thomas, a two-time 40-goal scorer, was too powerful for the Blues on this night, earning the No. 1 star.

"He played a pretty effective game," said Keenan, who inherited Thomas in Chicago.

Keenan kept Thomas around for more than three seasons in Chicago. As general manager, Keenan traded Thomas, along with current Blue Adam Creighton, to the New York Islanders for Brent Sutter and Brad Lauer on Oct. 25, 1991.

"He can score goals," Keenan said. "He can come out of the corner well. He did that tonight."

After Hudson scored the game's first goal, Thomas tied it up at 9 minutes 55 seconds of the first period, beating Grant Fuhr on Bill Guerin's rebound.

He later scored the winner against backup Bruce Racine, snapping a 2-2 tie at 4:41 of the second period.

On the winning goal, Thomas curled out of the right corner and surprised Racine with a quick shot inside the near post.

He surprised himself as well.

"I came right out of the corner and shot it," Thomas said. "They didn't have anyone checking me. It was kind of fortunate how that happened."

The goal was only the 10th this season for Thomas, who has struggled.

"It's a matter of confidence," said New Jersey coach Jacques Lemaire, who has Thomas on a line with Petr Sykora and Bill Guerin.

The victory was the third in a row for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who are 18-19-4 for 40 points. …

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