Vancouver won 4-3 (Game 1 of 7)

Vancouver won 4-3

Game 1: Thursday, April 10th
Game 2: Saturday, April 12th
Game 3: Monday, April 14th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 16th
Game 5: Friday, April 18th
Game 6: Sunday, April 20th
Game 7: Tuesday, April 22nd

Blues 6


10:30 PM ET, April 10, 2003

Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1 2 3 T
STL 2 2 26
VAN 0 0 00

A. Khavanov (Blues - D): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

P. Demitra (Blues - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

C. Stillman (Blues - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Osgood earns 10th career playoff shutout

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- The St. Louis Blues couldn't have imagined a better way to start the playoffs.

 Chris Osgood

Cory Stillman and Tyson Nash scored in the opening two minutes and Chris Osgood made 20 saves as the Blues stunned the Vancouver Canucks 6-0 Thursday night in the opener of their first-round playoff series.

"That's how you want to play, that's how you map it out," said Doug Weight after setting up the first goal and adding one of his own in the third period. "It's certainly a big victory for us."

Alexander Khavanov scored twice, and Keith Tkachuk also connected as the fifth-seeded Blues ended a five-game winless streak from the end of the regular season.

Osgood, acquired at the trade deadline for his playoff experience, improved to 13-1-4 against Vancouver with his 10th career playoff shutout.

"That game epitomizes a total team effort," Osgood said of his first playoff shutout since leaving Detroit two years ago. "We had great back pressure and smothered them and didn't give them any room.

As a result, Osgood wasn't tested often. He got a break when Markus Naslund hit the goalpost early and another when Trent Klatt failed to bang a loose puck into an empty net after Osgood misplayed a shot from behind the cage.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday night.

"We're going to do everything we did well and try to compound it and snowball it going into Game 2," Weight said.

Dan Cloutier stopped just 22 shots for the Canucks, who matched a 23-year-old franchise record for worst playoff loss and haven't won a postseason game on home ice in seven years.

"We got outplayed in absolutely every aspect of the game tonight," Vancouver coach Marc Crawford said.

The Canucks, who finished the regular season 0-2-1 and lost the Northwest Division title on the final day of the season, looked nervous early. They struggled to control the puck, turned simple passes into an adventure, and it wasn't long before they were trailing 2-0.

Stillman deflected Weight's power-play point shot past Cloutier 1:30 into the game, and Nash banged home his own rebound 31 seconds later after Cloutier made a sprawling stop on the first shot.

"Maybe they wanted to get off to such a good start and they got off to such a horrendous start that it really threw their confidence for a loop," Crawford said of his players.

Vancouver called a timeout, Naslund hit the post less than two minutes later, and the Canucks appeared to generate a little momentum midway through the period. But it fizzled when they failed to record a shot on three straight power plays, and ended completely when Tkachuk converted a give-and-go with Pavol Demitra 1:30 into the second period.

Demitra, back in the lineup after flying to St. Louis on Wednesday for the birth of his first child, added his second assist on Khavanov's power-play goal.

Khavonov added his second goal on a wraparound midway through the third period amid boos from a sellout crowd of 18, 514. Most fans had already left the building by the time Weight beat Cloutier cleanly on the power play from 35 feet.

"Anybody in the rink, anybody in the entire province of British Columbia, anybody across anywhere in Canada or the United States can look at that game and say that team was awful, they weren't ready," Crawford added.

"We just didn't ever deserve to be in the same league, let alone the same rink. We know it, I'm embarrassed by it, the team is embarrassed by it. We have to regroup and get better."

St. Louis finished 3-for-9 on the power play and held the Canucks' power play scoreless in six chances.

Game notes
: Vancouver, which finished second in the NHL with 264 goals, has been outscored 9-0 in the last eight periods. ... Vancouver rookie C Brandon Reid, recalled from AHL Manitoba after C Mats Lindgren reinjured his back, made his NHL playoff debut. ... Vancouver's last playoff win on home ice -- April 22, 1996 against Colorado -- came with current coach Marc Crawford coaching the Avalanche and St. Louis coach Joel Quenneville as his assistant. The Canucks' last playoff series win came against St. Louis in the first round in 1995.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press