Courtnall, Blues Top Red Wings


Geoff Courtnall scored on a penalty shot to snap a tie midway through the third period and Grant Fuhr returned to action with 25 saves as the St. Louis Blues cooled off the Detroit Red Wings, 3-1.

Courtnall broke into the Detroit zone alone and managed to get a shot off as he was hooked from behind by Aaron Ward. On his fourth career penalty shot, Courtnall skated down the slot and whipped a wrist shot over Chris Osgood's left shoulder for his second goal of the season and a 2-1 lead.

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  • "It's just nice to get a penalty shot. A lot of refs are scared to call it, but the fans get pumped, it's exciting," Courtnall said. "I'm in the clear and the guy hooks me and I didn't get a good shot off, so I think it's a good call. I was three-quarters of the way down when I shot it and I got nothing on it. It was a good call."

    "I just kept looking back and waited for him to make the signal for the penalty and then he pointed to center ice," Ward said. "All I could get on him was my stick before he got the shot off. It was a judgment call by the referee. I was chasing him down and I hit him. It was not enough to haul him down. It looked like it looked, make your own judgment."

    Courtnall was the last member of the Blues to convert a penalty shot, beating Jeff Hackett of the Chicago Blackhawks on December 13th, 1996.

    "I knew he likes to go high," Osgood said. "I just stood there waiting for him and he put it right beside my ear."

    "It depends on the interpretation. The rule sayhe has to take away a reasonable scoring chance and the shot he took hit the post," Detroit coach Scotty Bowman added. "He's a diver anyways, so that's a problem. He's good at it. He drew three penalties. There's no question he got hooked, but he embellished it. What are you gonna do? They're not going to call an unsportsmanlike on him. Goals are down in the league, I don't think you're going to win that argument."

    Osgood was pulled for a sixth attacker with 70 seconds left but Martin Lapointe took a slashing penalty at 19:30 and the Red Wings were given a bench penalty 11 seconds later when Michael Handzus' stick was found to be legal.

    "I didn't know for sure. It was a new blade, I put it on today," Handzus said. "It came yesterday from Easton. It was a little scary."

    Al MacInnis sealed the victory with an empty-net goal, his fifth, with 15 seconds to play.

    Fuhr stopped all 20 shots over the final two periods for his 384th career victory after missing four games with a strained knee.

    Doug Brown got the lone goal for Detroit, which had won six of its last seven games. The Red Wings won the first meeting between the Central Division rivals this season on October 16th, but the Blues have won four straight home games against Detroit.

    Scott Pellerin gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead at 10:01 of the opening period with his first goal. But the Red Wings tied it with a power-play goal 2:45 later. Brown got to a rebound at the bottom of the left faceoff circle and lifted it over a prone Fuhr for his fourth goal of the season.

    Detroit has at least one power-play goal in five straight games, going 7-for-29 in that span.

    The Red Wings missed a golden opportunity to take the lead when Courtnall took a double roughing minor 4:19 into the second period, just five seconds afer Handzus was called for hooking.

    Osgood finished with 22 saves and made a series of spectacular saves with 12:44 left in the second, denying Marty Reasoner twice from in close before gloving Scott Young's rebound attempt.

    Detroit's Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan both had seven-game points streaks snapped.

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