<
>

Radek, Blues overcome hot Havlat to beat Blackhawks

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Blues went back to simplicity on
their power play.

After scoring just once on 20 power-play opportunities coming
into Saturday nights game with Chicago, the Blues scored goals on
their first three chances with the man advantage against the
Blackhawks en route to a 4-3 win.

Jamie Rivers, who got the first power-play goal for St. Louis,
said the Blues had been trying to do too much with the man
advantage.

"We wanted to get guys to the net and just pound it," Rivers
said. "We did that tonight.

"Those were goals we needed. I think it really boosted the
confidence of our power play."

Rivers, Martin Rucinsky and Bill Guerin all scored power-play
goals for the Blues.

Chicago goalie Brian Boucher said the special teams were the
difference. He added that the Blues' goal of pounding the net was
effective.

"Two of them were just traffic in front and I couldn't find
them," he said. "When they score three power play goals, you're
not going to win may hockey games."

Radel Dvorak got the game winner in the third period while the
teams were even strength and added an assist.

Dvorak broke a 3-3 tie with 6:18 left in the third period when
he took a pass from Petr Cajanek and beat Chicago goalie Brian
Boucher with a wrist shot from the left circle.

The goal was Dvorak's first as a member of the Blues.

"It was nice to get the first goal over here," Dvorak said.
"We played a solid 60-minute game. It was probably our best effort
and it paid off."

Rucinsky also had a goal and assist for the Blues, who won their
second straight.

Martin Havlat, who was acquired from Ottawa in an off-season
trade, continued his hot start with his new team by scoring two
more goals. Havlat has six goals and 10 points.

Bryan Smolinski had the other goal for Chicago.

St. Louis entered the third period with a 3-2 lead, but Havlat
erased that when he came down on an odd-man rush, and fooled Manny
Legace by wristing a shot towards the net rather than passing.

The Blues, who outshot Chicago 11-4 in the third period, didnt
let that bother them.

"There was no air out of the bag when they scored," Legace
said. "We just kept pounding and pounding."

Havlat made it 1-0 early in the first period when Adrian
Aucoin's shot from the point sailed over the net and bounced back
over the goal in front. Legace tried to slap it away, but Havlat
got the puck and slid a backhander into the net.

Just 52 seconds later, Chicago was shorthanded, but Smolinski
got the puck off a giveaway and skated in alone on Legace. He beat
the goalie with a high wrist shot to make it 2-0.

Rivers got the Blues back in it at 17:27 of the period when he
scored on a one-timer.

Guerin then tied it at 1:28 of the second when he converted a
centering pass from Tkachuk. Rucinsky gave the Blues a 3-2
advantage at 10:43 of the second when he beat Boucher with a wrist
shot from the high slot.

Game notes
The Blues and Blackhawks will meet seven more times this
season. ... Smolinski's goal was his 250th. ... Boucher was seeing
his first action, as Nikolai Khabibulin had started Chicago s first
three games. ... Chicago has scored 18 goals in its first four
games.