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Edmonton at St. Louis

Rucinsky finds net twice to help Blues top Oilers, end skid

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues found themselves in unfamiliar territory Sunday afternoon -- with a lead.

But thanks to Lee Stempniak and Martin Rucinsky, things turned out OK.

Stempniak gave the Blues some insurance when he scored early in the third period. Rucinsky, who scored twice on the day, then closed the door with an empty net goal with four seconds left as the Blues snapped a three-game losing skid by beating the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 Sunday afternoon.

The Blues have made a habit of falling behind by two or more goals, then battling back. Blues forward Keith Tkachuk, for one, did not mind being on the other end.

"We've come back a lot," Tkachuk said. "But we've shot ourselves too much in the foot. It's nice playing a 5-on-5 and not playing catch-up for a change.

Bryce Salvador and Jay McClement also scored for St. Louis, which won for the second time in its last eight games. Back-up goalie Curtis Sanford made 31 saves for the Blues.

Stempniak said that he noticed a difference in the Blues' style of play.

"We played with desperation all afternoon," said Stempniak, who also had an assist. "In the past, we'd get down by a couple of goals and then come out and play with a lot desperation and urgency. We're a much better team when we do that all game and we showed it today."

Rookie Brad Winchester scored twice for the Oilers. Fernando Pisani had the other Edmonton goal.

St. Louis led 3-2 early in the third period when Stempniak gave the Blues some insurance. He took a pass from Tkachuk, skated down left wing and lifted a backhander over Edmonton goalie Jussi Markkanen.

"I knew there was pressure coming from the back," Stempniak said. "I just wanted to use a boost off of him and get a shot"

Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said that goal was a back-breaker.

"That fourth goal hurt us getting back in the game, and we've seemingly done that a lot this year," MacTavish said.

"The game isn't rocket science. It's a simple game; you get it in deep, you don't make mistakes and you support one another."

Pisani did cut the advantage in half with a power-play goal with 3:32 remaining, but Rucinsky put the game away with his empty-net goal.

The Blues briefly had a two-goal advantage in the second period. Rucinsky gave the Blues a 2-1 lead when he beat Markkanen with a wrist shot from the left circle at the two-minute mark. McClement made it 3-1 when he swatted home the rebound of Eric Brewer's shot at 18:39 of the period.

But Winchester got the Oilers back in it before the period was over with his second goal. Winchester broke into the St. Louis zone and surprised Sanford, who was screened by Brewer, with a wrist shot from between the circles with 4.6 seconds left.

A similar event occurred in the first period when Salvador gave the Blues a 1-0 advantage on a slap shot from the left point at the 14:03 mark. Just 42 seconds later, Winchester tied it at 1-1 off a scramble for a loose puck in front of Sanford.

Notes

  • St. Louis begins a five-game road trip starting in Calgary on Tuesday night and will not return to the Scottrade Center until Nov. 25.
  • Winchester has three goals in his last four games.
  • Rucinsky's first goal was his first since Oct. 17.
  • Blues defenseman Matt Walker left the game with a groin strain and did not return.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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St. Louis' Lee Stempniak scores over Jussi Markkanen's shoulder for a third-period goal.  (AP)
St. Louis' Lee Stempniak scores over Jussi Markkanen's shoulder for a third-period goal. (AP)
Scoreboard
Edmonton (8-8-1)0213
St. Louis  (5-8-3) «1225
Three Stars
L. Stempniak
STL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
B. Salvador
STL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
B. Winchester
EDM


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
14:03Bryce Salvador (2), Slap Shot - Assists: Lee Stempniak, Petr Cajanek
14:45Brad Winchester (2), Slap Shot - Assists: Patrick Thoresen, Marty Reasoner
2ND PERIOD
02:00Martin Rucinsky (4), Wrist Shot - Assist: Bill Guerin
18:39Jay McClement, Wrist Shot - Assists: Eric Brewer, Radek Dvorak
19:55Brad Winchester (3), Wrist Shot - Assist: Shawn Horcoff
3RD PERIOD
06:08Lee Stempniak (8), Wrist Shot - Assists: Keith Tkachuk, Eric Brewer
16:38Power Play - Fernando Pisani (3), Tip-In - Assists: Daniel Tjarnqvist, Shawn Horcoff
19:47Martin Rucinsky (5), Empty Net - Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:20Walker: Hooking - 2 min.
17:42Pisani: Hooking - 2 min.
2ND PERIOD
04:42Sykora: Interference - 2 min.
06:11Cajanek: Interference with goal tender. - 2 min.
08:10Salvador: Delay of Game - 2 min.
09:35Horcoff: Interference - 2 min.
09:35Jackman: Diving - 2 min.
13:54McClement: Slashing - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
07:39Stoll: Holding - 2 min.
14:39Brewer: Hooking - 2 min.
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
Edmonton9111333
St. Louis1011930
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Jussi Markkanen58:43254
Curtis Sanford59:52303
GAME INFORMATION
Attendance - 9214
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Paul Devorski, Greg Kimmerly
Line Judges - Lonnie Cameron, Brad Lazarowich
 
Other Games
Colu 0 Final
Chi 1
Min 2 Final
Ana 3