Work in Sports
ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Although it was not done with their typical tight defensive play, the St. Louis Blues captured their first Presidents' Trophy and eliminated the Calgary Flames from postseason contention with a 6-5 victory.
Pierre Turgeon had two goals before setting up up Scott Pellerin's game-winner with 5:10 left in the third period as the Blues won for the 56th straight time when scoring at least three goals. Turgeon skated to the top of the right faceoff circle and released a shot that goaltender Fred Brathwaite stopped before the rebound deflected in off Pellerin's skate.
"I know that we were skating and I heard somebody yell offside, I knew it was one of their guys," said Pellerin. "I don't know if they stopped 'cause they thought there'd be a call, but Turge got a shot and the rebound came out and went off my leg. It definitely was a bizarre way of winning it. ... I didn't give a motion to kick it."
The goal withstood a video review, although the Flames protested that the play was offside and Pellerin kicked in the puck.
"They said they've got to trust the video judge," said Calgary coach Brian Sutter, who asked officials about the call after the game. "There's no question he turned his skate sideways and it went into the net."
St. Louis' top line of Turgeon, Pellerin and Scott Young combined for four goals and five assists and each was a plus-4. They helped the Blues clinch home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
"I've never done it before, so it felt pretty good," St. Louis coach Joel Quenneville said of the Presidents' Trophy. "It says something about what we accomplished as a team. Calgary gave us all we could handle, give them credit. But at the same time, it was a fun season."
Marc Savard scored four times for his first career hat trick for Calgary and the first against the Blues this season.
"To lose this game to end our season, it's tough luck," Savard said. "I just wanted to work hard tonight and keep our playoff chances alive. This is a tough one to bite. I kind of saw the offsides, then it was kicked in. I thought they've got to call one of them, and they didn't call either."
Savard's fourth of the game came on the power play and tied it at 4-4 with 7:04 left in the third. He was in the slot near the left circle, took a pass from Valeri Bure and fired a one-timer past goaltender Roman Turek.
Savard's first of the game and 18th of the season also came on the power play and gave Calgary a 1-0 lead 5 1/2 minutes into the game.
With just under two minutes left in the third, Savard nearly had a fifth goal, but Turek blocked his drive from the right circle and fell on the rebound. Calgary pulled Brathwaite with 1:43 remaining but could not manage another good chance despite a 6-on-4 advantage for 32 seconds.
The Blues had allowed goals in only three of their previous 79 shorthanded situations, spanning 19 games. St. Louis had not allowed as many as five goals in a game since a 5-1 loss at Colorado on December 27.
Jamal Mayers' sixth goal tied it, 1-1, with 9:21 left in the first. The Blues had a power play when Turgeon got the go-ahead tally, his 25th, with 6:43 left in the opening period.
Calgary evened the score, 2-2, with 4:28 to play in the first as Jeff Shantz beat Turek from the slot for his 13th goal.
Chris Pronger's 14th put St. Louis ahead, 3-2, a minute into the second.
Savard scored again after intercepting a clearing pass by defenseman Al MacInnis at 11:05 of the second. He completed the hat trick with 34 seconds left in the period, giving the Flames a 4-3 edge.
Young took a breakout pass from Pellerin and flipped a wrist shot under Brathwaite's glove for his 24th goal just under four minutes into the third. Pellerin then set up Turgeon for a wrist shot that trickled through Brathwaite's pads and gave the Blues a 5-4 edge with 9:17 to play.