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Demitra, Blues Tie Coyotes

Like most goalies, St. Louis Blues netminder Grant Fuhr doesn't like getting run over.

That is particularly true when it costs his team a point, as it did in Thursday's 2-2 tie with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Fuhr was shutting out the Coyotes 1-0 when Phoenix's Greg Adams ran into him as he was preparing for Jeremy Roenick's shot from the right point. Adding insult to injury, after Fuhr went down, Adams tipped in Roenick's shot to tie the game 1-1 with 11:55 left in regulation.

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  • After the play, Fuhr made his feelings known to referee Richard Trottier.

    "I think I know them (the rules) better than Richard Trottier does," Fuhr said. "The last updated version of the rule book is he has to make an attempt to miss the goalie. In his rule book, obviously he doesn't."

    With Fuhr still steaming, Mike Stapleton gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead when he scored with 9:00 left on a bouncing shot from just inside the right blue line. But Pavol Demitra salvaged the tie for the Blues 1:18 later when he scored his team-leading 32nd goal on a goal mouth scramble following a rush down the right wing by defenseman Jeff Finley.

    That did little to pacify Fuhr.

    "We feel like we got the point stolen from us," he said. "Ideally, it should have been a 2-1 win."

    However, not all the Blues were complaining.

    "It's good that we came back," Scott Young said. "We gave up the lead there, and not only did they tie it, they went ahead. We felt like we were going pretty good all game and that can really hurt your momentum. But we came back and got a good character point."

    The Coyotes felt pretty good about the outcome as well.

    "We'll take the point after the way we came out to start the game," said Keith Tkachuk. "We didn't play well in the first or second period, but we had enough to get the point."

    "We're a tired team," said Phoenix coach JiSchoenfeld. "To have the energy to mount a comeback is a good statement about our team."

    The tie allowed each team to extend unbeaten streaks to four games. St. Louis now has 69 points and is three points behind first-place Detroit in the Central Division.

    Phoenix had helped the Blues by beating Detroit 4-3 on Wednesday. The Blues returned the favor by outshooting the road weary Coyotes 16-3 in the first period and 31-22 for the game.

    Mike Eastwood gave the Blues the lead when he scored 10:13 into the contest. Eastwood took a a pass from Young and walked in alone. He put a wrist shot over Phoenix goalie Mikhail Shtalenkov's glove to make it 1-0.

    It appeared that the Blues had taken a 2-0 advantage at the 14:21 mark of the first period when Shtalenkov let the rebound of Demitra's shot get away and Michel Picard shoved it in the net. But the referee had already blown the whistle and waived the goal off.

    The Blues had another goal taken away at 8:55 of the second period when Picard, who was jostling with Phoenix defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky, was in the crease when Demitra scored from in front.

    "What can you say?" Eastwood said. "The referees make the calls and the guys upstairs make the calls. You got to live with them. The other night we had a couple breaks go our way, and tonight they went against us. You have to battle through that."

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