ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Too bad the St. Louis Blues can't find another
jersey to retire.
Rookie Jason Bacashihua carried a shutout into the final minute
and the Blues, inspired on after Al MacInnis was honored, beat the
Edmonton Oilers 2-1 on Sunday night to end a franchise-record
13-game losing streak.
"It's been a while since we got a 'W" Bacashihua said. "It
was a good way to get one."
Jamal Mayers and Mark Rycroft scored for the Blues, who won
hours after the Blues retired MacInnis' No. 2 jersey before a paid
crowd of 19,090, the second largest of the season. In the process,
they put a dent in the Oilers' playoff hopes.
"It was a touching ceremony," Mayers said. "Having Al's
jersey retired was a special day, and the guys did a great job of
coming up with a solid effort."
The Oilers declined to participate in the 45-minute pre-game
ceremony, feeling it was inappropriate for the Blues to honor
MacInnis before a late-season game that held meaning to them. Among
those not involved in the ceremony was defenseman Chris Pronger, a
longtime teammate of MacInnis' before being traded last September.
Pronger, who was booed frequently throughout the game, said it
was "immaterial" whether the MacInnis ceremony was a distraction.
"We're professionals and we have to come to work and play the
game," Pronger said. "They had to sit through the same thing
except they had to sit on the bench."
A video tribute from Oilers coach Craig MacTavish was aired with
under two minutes to go, however. Pronger said he also did a video.
"But did they lose it?" he said. "I think they lost it."
MacTavish complained that his team has run into a handful of
pre-game ceremonies this season.
"The perfect guest again," MacTavish said. "I wondered why
they were going to pick us to retire Al MacInnis' jersey.
"There's no excuse for not having everybody ready to play and
we end up being the perfect guest for what ends up being a crucial
game for us."
Bacashihua, who made his first start in about 2 1-2 months on
Saturday at Colorado, is getting a chance to play due to
season-ending injuries to Curtis Sanford and Patrick Lalime. He
made 36 saves and was particularly strong in the first half of the
third period when the Oilers outshot the Blues 14-1.
"I didn't look," Bacashihua said. "I knew we had a two-goal
lead and that was my job back there to protect it."
Pronger scored his 12th goal on a power play with 24.1 seconds
to go for the Oilers, who fell into a tie for seventh in the
Western Conference after the Sharks' 4-1 victory over the Stars.
They're two points ahead of the idle Canucks.
The Blues got the only goal in the first two periods on Mayers'
13th of the season, and second in four games. Mayers beat Dwayne
Roloson on a 2-on-1 break at the one-minute mark of the second
Rycroft's sixth goal, also on a 2-on-1 break, made it 2-0 at
1:30 of the third. Rycroft ended a 22-game goal drought off a feed
from Ryan Johnson, scoring on the first shot of the third. It was
also the Blues' only shot for the first half of the period.
The Blues were outscored 53-21 during the losing streak.
... Roloson made his 17th straight start for the Oilers since being
acquired from the Wild on the trade deadline and made 16 saves. ...
The Blues finished 3-1 against Edmonton. ... The Blues won for only
the second time all season when playing on the second straight day.
They're 2-13-3 in that situation.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Scottrade Center Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
Referees: Steve Kozari, Ian Walsh Linesmen: Steve Miller, Vaughan Rody
Attendance: 19,090 (99.7% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
Jamal Mayers (13)
Assists: Jay McClement, Scott Young
Mark Rycroft (6)
Assists: Ryan Johnson, Jeff Hoggan
Chris Pronger (11)
(Power Play) Assists: Sergei Samsonov, Ales Hemsky