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NHL Game Summary - St. Louis at Columbus



(Tuesday, January 9th)

Final Score: St. Louis 4, Columbus 3 (SO)

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Lee Stempniak was credited with the game- winning goal in the shootout to lift the St. Louis Blues over the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-3, at Nationwide Arena.

Bill Guerin, Keith Tkachuk and Martin Rucinsky scored in regulation for the Blues, who have won four of their last six games. Goaltender Manny Legace made 19 saves while Stempniak also notched two assists in the win.

Dan Fritsche, Aaron Johnson and Manny Malhotra netted the goals for the Blue Jackets, who fell to 2-4-1 in their last seven contests overall. Fredrik Norrena allowed three goals on 24 shots in the losing effort.

Trailing 3-2, the visitors tied the score with 7:29 to play in regulation. As the Blue Jackets attempted to break out of their defensive zone, Rucinsky stole the puck from the stick of Ron Hainsey and passed over to Petr Cajanek near the right post. Cajanek -- via a backhand pass through his legs -- fed it back to Rucinsky, who was all alone in front for an easy goal.

After an exciting overtime did not produce a deciding goal, the teams went to the shootout. The first five collective shooters all scored, and after Stempniak beat Norrena as the final Blues skater, Fredrik Modin's backhander was stopped by Legace and the Blues skated off with the victory.

The Blue Jackets opened the scoring midway through the first period. Nikolai Zherdev carried the puck over the blue line along the right side and dropped it for David Vyborny, who fired a pass from the top of the right circle to Fritsche for a successful deflection at the left post.

With 4:46 remaining in the first, the Blues tied it up on the power play. A pass from along the right half-wall by Rucinsky was corralled in the slot by Stempniak, who dipped his shoulder and faked a wrist shot before a pass to Guerin beneath the left circle. Guerin easily beat Norrena with a wrister for his 18th goal.

The Jackets moved ahead 2-1 on the only goal of the second period. Johnson's slap shot from the top of the right circle was deflected and caromed behind the net before Anson Carter gained control. Carter then passed into the slot for Johnson's blazing one-timer that lit the lamp at 13:29.

Tkachuk's 12th goal 1:07 into the third stanza created a 2-2 deadlock. Radek Dvorak picked up a loose puck in the left corner, curled and skated along the half-wall. Dvorak looked for an open teammate but eventually sent the disc toward the net, where Tkachuk deflected it home from in front.

Malhotra's power-play at the 3:40 mark of the third period gave the hosts a one-goal edge.

Game Notes

St. Louis is 5-10-4 on the road this season...Columbus forwards Rick Nash (back) and center Sergei Fedorov (elbow) both missed the game...The Blues finished 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Jackets were 1-for-5 with the extra skater...Attendance was 15,238.

01/09 22:11:14 ET


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