ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Games like this are why the
St. Louis Blues traded for Chris Osgood.
Osgood recorded his second shutout in five games for the Blues,
who moved into a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference
with a 1-0 blanking of the Minnesota Wild.
Acquired from the New York Islanders at the trade deadline to
solidify a muddled goaltending picture, Osgood made 31 saves to
improve to 4-1-0 for the Blues. He denied rookie Pierre-Marc
Bouchard on a breakaway five minutes into the first period,
stopped 14 shots in the second and six in the third for his
fourth shutout of the season and 38th of his career.
"I've felt really good since I came here," Osgood said.
"He came up with three or four good saves early. Then we
scored, but was the difference in the game," Blues coach Joel
Quenneville added. "You can basically thank him for the two
points based on his play tonight."
Cory Stillman scored the game's only goal off a 2-on-1 with
11:21 left in the opening period as St. Louis bounced back from
consecutive losses and improved to 9-3-1 in its last 12
The Blues are tied with Colorado for fourth place, which carries
home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
"(Osgood) was definitely the difference, and this was a big two
points for us, to keep us close to Colorado," St. Louis left
wing Shjon Podein said. "Every point you get right now is real
important. We definitely want to keep home-ice. And lately,
our goaltending play has been very good."
Manny Fernandez stopped 26 shots for the Wild, who have been
shut out twice in as many games since clinching the first
postseason berth in team history.
"You hate to see when you don't score goals," Minnesota center
Sergei Zholtok said. "We got a lot of chances tonight. I think
it's part of this thing. Goals will come if we're going to
play the same way offensively."
The Wild dominated early, but St. Louis broke through on its
second shot of the game.
A pass by defenseman Al MacInnis sprung Pavol Demitra and
Stillman on a 2-on-1. Demitra carried down the right side and
slid the puck across the slot to Stillman, who tapped it past
Fernandez for his 23rd goal of the season and first in five
"The puck came towards the point and the guy (Lubomir Sekereas)
dove for it. There's an unwritten rule that when you're on
defense you don't dive for the puck to keep it in," Wild coach
Jacques Lemaire said. "That's how they got the 2-on-1. And
even the 2-on-1 was not played well. For the defenseman (Filip
Kuba), it's either you try to get in front of the shot or try to
tip the pass over. He didn't do either.
"That's probably the only mistake we made tonight. The rest was
because they played well. They created their own chances."
Fernandez stopped Demitra on a breakaway with five minutes to go
in the second period, but Osgood denied Andrew Brunette twice
from the doorstep moments later.
In the third, Osgood sprawled on his back to rob Cliff Ronning
from the doorstep. And with 9:33 remaining, Minnesota's Marian
Gaborik backhanded a rebound off the right goalpost.
"I can't say that he's past that frustration," Lemaire said of
Gaborik, who leads the team with 29 goals but has just one in
his last 13 games. "I saw him break a stick when he got in. He
wants to help the team by scoring goals. If he keeps working
hard and keeps digging and looking for loose pucks, it'll come."