2001 Stanley Cup Finals
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NHL Hockey Scoreboard: Recap
Recap | Box Score | Today's Scoreboard
St. Louis 6, San Jose 3
Posted: Tuesday April 17, 2001 03:29 AM
St. Louis Blues
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SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Dallas Drake scored twice and keyed a superior special teams effort as the St. Louis Blues reclaimed home-ice advantage in their Western Conference quarterfinal series with a 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks.

St. Louis was blanked at home by Evgeni Nabokov, 1-0, on Saturday but put three goals past the rookie goaltender in the first 14 minutes on Monday and never looked back.

"You have to credit us in the beginning of the game for being poised and having composure, knowing that the crowd was really into it," said Blues right wing Scott Young. "They were kind of overly excited and I think that we caught them running around a bit."

One of Drake's goals was shorthanded and Scott Mellanby and Pierre Turgeon added power-play tallies for the Blues, who have killed all 12 Sharks' power plays in the series.

"Power play, penalty-kill, if you do those things well, you are going to win a lot of hockey games," said Turgeon, who had two goals and four assists in the first three games after totaling seven assists in last year's series.

Nabokov was chased after allowing five goals on 21 shots in two periods. Scott Thornton, Vincent Damphousse and Tony Granato scored for San Jose, which hosts Game Four on Tuesday night.

"We had a lot of opportunities for a power play," Sharks coach Darryl Sutter said. "We were probably not as physical as we need to be and our goalie wasn't good enough tonight. In the first two games, both goalies played really well. But (Nabokov) just wasn't on top of his game tonight."

"We have no excuses in here," added San Jose defenseman Jeff Norton. "We know what our job is and what we have to accomplish. Tonight wasn't what we set out to do. We didn't play that well. We learned from it though."

Mellanby's goal 2:31 into the first period silenced one of the NHL's rowdiest crowds and Jochen Hecht scored 1:45 later to keep it quiet.

With 20 seconds left on Marcus Ragnarsson's hooking penalty, Young wristed a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that deflected off Mellanby's chest and got by Nabokov. Less than two minutes later, Hecht took a pass from Pavol Demitra and beat Nabokov from the right circle.

Cory Stillman's first playoff goal since 1996 made it 3-0 with 6:11 left in the opening period.

"It is something that we learned last year. Getting off to a good start was something that was critical for us," Blues captain Chris Pronger said. "Get that first goal, which has been key in the first two games and this one."

Actually, the team scoring first has won the last eight playoff games between these rivals.

Sharks' fans finally had something to cheer about 2 1/2 minutes later, when Game Two hero Scott Thornton drove the net and tapped in Niklas Sundstrom's backhanded centering feed from the right side.

But Drake restored St. Louis' three-goal cushion with his shorthanded goal 6:17 into the second period. While being taken down in the slot by Patrick Marleau, he lunged forward and redirected Young's pass.

Damphousse answered with a shorthanded tally, but Turgeon made it 5-2 on the power play with 2:48 to go in the second.

Granato put his own rebound past goalie Roman Turek 3:13 into the third to get San Jose within 5-3, but Drake scored into an empty net with 39 seconds left on the Blues' only shot of the period.

"We have to be on our toes and putting pressure on them instead of sitting back on our heels, like we did the first 10-15 minutes. That is how they got the 3-0 lead," Granato said. "We did everything to get back into the game, but the start is really what put us behind the eight-ball and we really could not get back into the game."

While Thornton has three goals and Sundstrom and Norton three assists apiece in the first three games, Sharks snipers Owen Nolan and Teemu Selanne have failed to record a point after combining for 57 goals during the season.

 

   
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