Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Snap 0-4-2 Streak Ragtag Lineup Nets 6-3 Win over Colorado

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Snap 0-4-2 Streak Ragtag Lineup Nets 6-3 Win over Colorado

Article excerpt

Before the Blues played Colorado on Wednesday night, coach Mike Keenan spoke bluntly about the team's chances.

"We've got every excuse in the world not to win this game, based on the lineup," Keenan said. "If they don't feel they can compete against a team like that . . . "

Injuries have decimated the Blues, sidelining goalie Brett Hull, Grant Fuhr, Shayne Corson, Tony Twist, Rob Pearson and Yuri Khmylev. But Keenan deplores excuses, and the Blues needed none on this night. Their rag-tag lineup beat the NHL's second-best team 6-3 at McNichols Arena, snapping a winless streak of six games - 0-4-2. "We put a lot of work into this," Keenan said. "We had to work extremely hard, especially being so short-handed." Wayne Gretzky called it a "a great win." The Blues moved closer to clinching a playoff spot, improving to 32-31-14 for 78 points. Colorado is 43-24-10 for 96 points, second only to Detroit in the NHL. Jon Casey filled in admirably in the first game started by any Blues goalie other than ironman Fuhr. Casey shut out the Avalanche on 15 shots and five power plays in the first period, setting the tone for the game. "Jon Casey did a real good job for us tonight," Keenan said. Grinders Steve Leach, Adam Creighton and Peter Zezel scored for the Blues, with Leach scoring twice, his first goals in a Blues uniform. Gretzky chipped in with an unassisted power-play goal and assisted on Glenn Anderson's fifth goal of the season. Anderson is three short of 500 for his career. Keenan praised Zezel and Leach in particular for their contribution. Relegated to the press box recently before the injuries, they responded with big goals and big penalty kills. Zezel's goal, on a power play at 8:49, and Leach's second goal, from Zezel at 9:08, padded the Blues' lead in the third period. Adam Deadmarsh, Chris Simon and Valeri Kamensky scored for the Avalanche, which had not played a game in a week. The Blues may have had a new goalie, but they were plagued by old problems in the first period. They took five consecutive penalties in a span of 14 minutes 25 seconds, spending 9:17 on the power play. …

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