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Blues avoid 3-game losing streak, add to Isles misery

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- As a team, the St. Louis Blues had a little extra motivation to play well Thursday night against the New York Islanders. Coming into the game, the Blues suffered consecutive losses in which they were outscored by a combined 6-0 in the first period.

As an individual, center Derek Roy had his own motivation -- watching from the penalty box as the Islanders scored to tie the game at 1 early in the second period.

Both the team and individual got their redemption.

Roy came out of the box and scored on a power-play just 1:43 after the goal by the Islanders' Andrew MacDonald, igniting a three-goal flurry which powered the Blues to a 5-1 victory on Thursday.

"I was pretty mad about the penalty and they ended up scoring on it," Roy said. "We got the power play and obviously I wanted to redeem myself and I had a chance to."

Roy's goal was followed by goals by center David Backes, also on the power play, and left winger Magnus Paarjarvi in a span of 7:57 as the Blues took command of the game and improved their home record to 12-1-2.

The Blues, who took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a power-play goal by defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, also raised their record to 16-1-2 when they score the first goal of the game. They are now 11-0-1 whey lead after the first period.

It was the second period, however, which was the key to this victory.

"It was nice for Derek score," said St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock. "He felt a lot better about himself. That second goal seemed to really energize us. For 30 minutes we finally saw our game back again, our pursuit game. We got the puck stopped in the offensive zone, we created turnovers and got second and third turnovers, which is our game. For 30 minutes we started to see what we are capable of again. It was nice to see."

New York coach Jack Capuano did not like what he saw as the Islanders' winless streak reached eight games (0-6-2) as they also lost their eighth consecutive game on the road. It was the 10th consecutive game in which they failed to score more than two goals.

"We're a club right now that's not scoring," Capuano said. "We had some chances in the first period and I thought we dictated the play against a really good hockey team. The second period all of a sudden it was bang, bang, bang and we couldn't respond.

"It's tough because I don't think we are a team that is getting dominated. We're just not scoring. It's kind of snowballing right now and it's frustrating."

Islanders goalie Anders Nilsson did not have much of a chance on any of the three St. Louis power-play goals, the second time this season they have scored three power-play goals in a game.

"We all know in this locker room that we have to step it up to get out of this slump," Nilsson said. "Everybody has to look in the mirror and see what he can do better. Everybody has to do a better job. St Louis is a really good team but I feel we can play better than we did tonight."

NOTES: The Blues debuted a new fourth line combination. Derek Roy moved to center between LW Magnus Paajarvi and RW Maxim Lapierre, who moved from center to take the place of injured RW Ryan Reaves, out for six weeks with a broken hand, although Roy and Patrik Berglund later changed lines during the game ... Paajarvi was back in the lineup after missing Monday night's game because of the flu. ... D Ian Cole, a healthy scratch on Monday night, also returned to the St. Louis lineup. ... Islanders G Evgeni Nabokov (groin) and D Brian Strait (upper body) have resumed practicing with the team but are said to be at least a week from being ready to play in a game. ... Thursday night's game began a five-game western trip for the Islanders, who will play the Kings in Los Angeles on Saturday night. ... The Blues host Anaheim on Saturday night in their next game.
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