edge Blues in battle of Western elites
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[March 01, 2014]
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Anaheim
Ducks, who own the NHL's best record, ended their pre-Olympic slump by
pouncing on their most serious competition in the Western Conference.
Center Andrew Cogliano scored 3:39 into the game to give the
Ducks a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Friday night in
front of an announced standing-room-only crowd of 17,369 at the
Anaheim won just five games of the final 11 games before the Olympic
break, following a 36-8-5 start.
"Nobody was really happy just before the Olympics," Ducks goalie
Jonas Hiller said. "Everybody knew we wanted to find that
consistency again, especially at home. Knowing that you can keep up
physically with one of the most physical teams in the league
definitely gives you some confidence."
The Ducks (42-14-5) gave coach Bruce Boudreau his 300th career
victory in his 496th game, the fastest pace for any NHL coach with
at least 300 wins. Montreal legend Toe Blake held the previous
standard, with 300 victories in his first 525 games.
"After my 200th win, I got fired the next game," said Boudreau, who
coached the Washington Capitals for five seasons before Anaheim
Hiller made 18 saves for his 26th win and his fifth shutout. Hiller
had not won at home since Jan. 12 against Detroit.
"Everybody was blocking shots," Hiller said. "Everybody was playing
really physical. We didn't give up a whole lot of chances in the
Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler began the scoring sequence by breaking
up a rush and passing the puck to center Saku Koivu along the
left-wing boards. Koivu then passed to Cogliano, who beat three
Blues and converted a backhander against goalie Brian Elliott.
Elliott made just his third start this month after St Louis
(39-14-6) sent regular starter Jaroslav Halak to Buffalo in a
five-player trade earlier Friday. The Blues acquired goalie Ryan
Miller and forward Steve Ott.
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"Ryan Miller is an all-world goalie and Steve Ott adds grit," Blues
right wing Kevin Backes said. "But the guys in here can't think
they're a magic solution and that, all of a sudden, things are going
to get easy. Winning in this league is tough."
The Blues' two best chances to tie hit the goal frame. Left winger
Jaden Schwartz's wrist shot ricocheted off the crossbar in the first
period. Right winger Ryan Reaves tried to score on a spin move in
the second period, but the puck deflected off the right post to the
left post before sliding away from the net.
"It was a great effort by all of us to get past that," Blues
defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said of the trade. "We put in a great
effort. We're creating the chances. We just need to put a couple in
the net, and we'll be fine."
NOTES: Blues D Jay Bouwmeester played his 700th consecutive game
Friday night. Bouwmeester had not missed a game since March 3, 2004,
when he played for the Florida Panthers. ... Ducks locker room
attendant Jeff Tyni dressed as the Blues' backup goalie. Tyni, who
wore number 60, plays in local amateur leagues. ... St. Louis D
Carlo Colaiacovo played back-to-back games for the first time since
Dec. 31 and Jan. 2. ... Anaheim C Nick Bonino and D Mark Fistric
returned to action for the first time in a month after sustaining
lower-body injuries. ... Ducks C Andrew Cogliano played his 519th
successive game. ... Ducks RW Corey Perry entered the game leading
the NHL in game-winning goals (9). ... Anaheim D Hampus Lindholm
began the game with the best plus-minus rating of all NHL rookies at
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