Final

Series (Game 3 of 6)

St. Louis leads 3-2

Game 1: Thursday, October 16th
Blues1Final
Predators4
Game 2: Tuesday, October 28th
Predators0Final
Blues1
Game 3: Saturday, December 6th
Predators1Final
Blues4
Game 4: Saturday, January 10th
Blues1Final
Predators3
Game 5: Thursday, March 11th
Predators1Final
OT
Blues1
Game 6: Saturday, April 3rd
Blues4Final
Predators1

Predators 1

(14-11-0, 29 pts)

Blues 4

(15-6-1, 33 pts)

8:00 PM ET, December 6, 2003

Scottrade Center, Saint Louis, Missouri

1 2 3 T
NSH 1 0 01
STL 2 0 24

M. Rycroft (Blues - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

M. Danton (Blues - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

P. Demitra (Blues - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Rycroft scores twice in win

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Two strange bounces turned out just fine for St. Louis Blues forward Mark Rycroft.

Rycroft had two goals, helping the Blues snap the Nashville Predators' six-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory Saturday night.

"Rebounds are kind of where the game is at right now," said Rycroft, who raised his season scoring total to three. "Throw everything at the net and try to get something. Three of our goals tonight came off their deflections. You never know how this crazy game will go."

Rycroft's goals came in the third period, padding Blues' lead.

A shot by Rycroft deflected off Scott Walker's stick at 2:31 of the third period to give St. Louis a 3-1 lead. And Rycroft took a pass from Petr Cajanek and scored from the left faceoff circle at 17:28.

"The first goal I threw it in front and I guess their defenseman knocked it in," Rycroft said. "I haven't seen the replay. The second one, their player deflected it into the corner so that was good. Sometimes you win."

With the victory, the Blues moved back into a tie for first place in the Central Division with Detroit, which overcame a three-goal deficit and rallied to tie St. Louis on Thursday. The Red Wings lost 5-2 to Toronto earlier Saturday.

"We really don't look at the standings much now," Blues forward Dallas Drake said. "You look more at the standings at the end of the year when you're fighting for a playoff spot."

The Predators, playing for the third time in four days, are 10-3 in their last 13 games. Nashville is four points behind the Blues and Red Wings.

"It's always going to come to an end," Nashville coach Barry Trotz of the Predators' winning streak. "You're not going to win 70 in a row or something like that."

St. Louis goalie Chris Osgood faced only 15 shots in the victory.

Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun, who won a franchise record seven straight starts and 10 of his last 11, took the loss. Vokoun faced five shots and allowed two goals before leaving the game after the first period suffering from effects of the flu.

"He was a little bit sick, and he came in and said 'I can't find the puck.' As soon as I start moving around, I'm lightheaded and all that," Trotz said.

Mike Danton and Pavol Demitra scored first-period goals for the Blues, who held a 2-1 lead after one.

Danton scored from the left faceoff circle at 7:16 of the first. Cajanek and Rycroft picked up assists. Demitra scored at 9:10, taking a pass from Keith Tkachuk just inside the blue line and beating Vokoun on his glove side.

Nashville cut the lead to one goal when Vladimir Orszagh scored from the left faceoff circle at 14:20.

The Predators, who had scored at a least one power-play goal in four of their previous six games, failed to score on four man-advantage chances.

The Blues rank first in the NHL on the penalty kill at home. St. Louis has killed 48 of 50 penalties at home. In their last 10 games overall, the Blues have stopped 34 of 36 power-play chances.

"We're doing a good job from preventing easy access to our zone to trying to kill plays as quickly as possible," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said. "We're not giving up dangerous shots. We're working a lot of guys in the mix of it and I think they take a lot of pride in killing it."

Game notes


: Blues D Barrett Jackman will be out three to five weeks with a shoulder strain. Jackman hurt his shoulder in Tuesday's home game against Boston. He flew Friday to Cleveland to get a second opinion on his shoulder. ... Blues D Chris Pronger scored an assist on Danton's goal, giving him four points in two games. ... The Blues are 10-2-3-1 at home against Nashville. ... The Blues have won seven of their last nine home games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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