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Blues Play Winning Tune


St. Louis rookie Jochen Hecht made an impressive return to the Blues lineup.

Hecht, who had missed 13 games with a sprained ankle, scored the winning goal and added an assist as the Blues beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 and set a team record with their seventh straight road win Friday night.

"We were giving him a hard time, telling him not to bring us down now that he's back in the lineup," teammate Scott Pellerin said. "Jochen's a talent. He's a real plus to have back in the lineup."

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  • St. Louis, which has won nine of 10 overall and is the NHL's top road club with a 19-8-2 record, outshot Nashville 33-17.

    Blues goalie Roman Turek, who made 16 saves for his 30th win, stopped Drake Berehowsky on a slap shot with 5.6 seconds left as the Predators lost their sixth straight.

    "We've got to keep the faith, keep believing in one another, and keep marching on," Predators captain Tom Fitzgerald said. "We've got to maybe be concerned about the Nashville Predators, what we do, and then things will take care of themselves."

    St. Louis has not lost a road game since a 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh on Jan. 19.

    "We're able to keep our game simple, and team defense has allowed us the opportunity to be around in the later parts of games," Blues forward Jamal Mayers said. "Then we're able to capitalize on our opportunities."

    St. Louis is the best defensive team in the league 119 goals gainst in 58 games and the Blues have allowed the fewest shots, with an average of 22 per game.

    Hecht snapped a 1-1 tie with 3:02 left in the second period. Stephane Richer took advantage of a giveaway by Nashville defenseman Bob Boughner and set up Hecht, who was wide open in the left circle.

    "That's a play that has to be made," Boughner said.

    Nashville's Cliff Ronning got the only goal of the first period on a give-and-go with Kimmo Timonen. Ronning skated up the middle and dished to Timonen, who fed back to Ronning in the slot for a one-timer that whistled by Turek.

    The goal was the 20th of the season for Ronning, the eighth time in his NHL career that he has reached that mark.

    Marty Reasoner's power-play goal tied the game 10:53 into the second. Reasoner fired the puck over Tomas Vokoun after Chris Pronger's slap shot went wide and Hecht found Reasoner in front.

    Blues defenseman Al MacInnis, last year's Norris Trophy winner, missed his third straight game with a back injury. Timonen, Nashville's All-Star defenseman, returned after missing 15 games due to a broken wrist.

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