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Blues' Fuhr Gets 100th Win


Although he hadn't played in seven weeks, St. Louis Blues goalie
Grant Fuhr
felt right at home in Saturday's 6-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

"That was like old-time hockey," said Fuhr, who played goal for Edmonton in the 1980s when the Oilers were winning Stanley Cups by simply outscoring the opposition. "I've played in a lot of 6-4 games."

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  • He had not played at all lately, and the Blues missed his services. Fuhr had missed the last 16 games after having arthroscopic surgery done on his right knee. He stopped 24 of 28 shots Saturday, including 11 in the third period and recorded his 100th win for St. Louis.

    "We got a win, that's all that matters," Fuhr said. "No one really cares if it's ugly, or pretty or how it really happens, as long as it happens. We're pretty happy about taking the two points."

    Blues coach Joel Quenneville, whose team snapped a four-game losing streak, could not agree more - though his version of "old-time hockey" differs from Fuhr's.

    "We'd rather see it nice and low scoring from the opposition, that's for sure," Quenneville said with a chuckle. "But we'll take the win. We're happy to have him back. He made a couple of big saves when the game was on the line and that was good to see."

    With the win, the Blues solidified sixth place in the Western Conference. St. Louis has 64 points, four more than eighth-place Edmonton.

    Craig Conroy had a goal and two assists to lead the Blues on the offensive end.

    St. Louis trailed 4-3 entering the third period, but Mike Eastwood scored from in front 18 seconds into the period to tie the gae. Just 3:01 later, Pavol Demitra skated out from behind net to the right of Edmonton goalie Bob Essensa and passed cross ice to Lubos Bartecko, who swatted it into the open net for the game-winner.

    "You can't blame the goaltender when the defensemen give the other team a one-on-one chance," said Edmonton coach Ron Low. "That shouldn't happen in the National Hockey League."

    Demitra later scored his team-leading 28th goal with 2:46 left. Chris Pronger and Marc Bergevin also scored for the Blues and Scott Pellerin picked up his 100th career point with an assist.

    Roman Hamrlik scored twice and Bill Guerin had his team-leading 28th for Edmonton. Josef Beranek had the other Oilers' goal, his 18th.

    Low felt the Oilers could have had more with a little more accuracy.

    "Instead of missing the net, it would be nice if we shot the puck on goal once in a while," he said.

    The Oilers allowed the Blues to seize the momentum in the second period by squandering a two-goal advantage. But Edmonton seemed to regain control when Beranek swatted a rebound by Fuhr at the 18:25 mark to give the Oilers a 4-3 lead.

    St. Louis fell behind 3-1, but thanks to Conroy, scored twice in a 4:11 span in the second period to tie the game.

    Conroy won a faceoff deep in the Edmonton zone and dropped the puck to Bergevin, who flipped it towards the net. The puck slipped by Essensa to make it 3-2 with 11:41 left in the period. The goal was the first for Bergevin since Jan. 24, 1998.

    With Bergevin in the penalty box for interference, Conroy broke into the Edmonton zone against Oilers defenseman Boris Mironov. Conroy faked his way past Mironov and shoveled the puck at Essensa. It trickled in at the 12:30 mark for Conroy's 14th goal.

    Pronger gave the Blues a 1-0 lead 4:22 into the contest with his 11th goal. But Hamrlik scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season before the first period was over to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead. Guerin made it 3-1 when he beat Fuhr on a one-timer from the high slot at 3:07 of the second period.

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