ST. LOUIS (AP)—St. Louis coach Andy Murray decided giving Manny Legace time off would send the wrong message.
Murray started his top goalie one night after he gave up five goals in the Blues’ third consecutive loss and it proved a good move. Legace made 22 saves for his fourth shutout this season and 17th overall, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 2-0 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
“I put Manny back in tonight because I think he felt like he had a subpar performance in Detroit,” Murray said. “It’s a real testament to him, that he stepped up and got it done.”
Legace said it was important for him and his team to bounce back after a 5-3 loss at Detroit on Friday. The Red Wings scored three third-period goals against Legace, including a short-handed score, to send the Blues to their longest losing streak since Murray took over in December.
“The guys played unbelievable in front of me,” Legace said. “Today we got some lucky breaks and the puck stayed out of the net.”
One shot by the Stars hit a defenseman’s skate and bounced through the crease and into the corner. Another hit the crossbar and several others were blocked by the Blues well before Legace needed to make a play.
But at least four of his stops came against shots from close range with no defensemen around to help. Legace made a glove save on Stu Barnes midway through the second period about 6 minutes before blocking Jeff Halpern’s shot from just in front of the net.
Possibly the best stop of the night came about a minute into the third period. A charging Mike Modano skated in from the blue line with Blues defenders trailing behind before taking a shot about 6 feet from Legace.
“I was just hoping he was going to miss the net,” Legace said. “He didn’t get it up to where he wanted it to.”
If Legace wasn’t stopping the Stars, they stopped themselves. Barnes had an open net but pushed the puck behind Legace and in front of the goal mouth midway through the first period. Barnes also put the puck in the net late in the game, but it was waved off because Dallas had too many men on the ice.
“We had some chances,” Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. “But we weren’t mentally sharp enough to execute and find a way to win.”
Rucinsky scored his 12th about 6 minutes into the game. He skated uncovered down the right side and took a cross-ice pass from Peter Sejna before slapping his shot left of goalie Marty Turco. It came on the Blues’ second shot in the period.
Tkachuk got his 17th on a rare power-play goal midway through the third. Entering the game, the Blues had scored just once in 22 man-advantage opportunities. Doug Weight assisted on both goals.
“For us to get a power-play goal when we struggled as we did in Detroit, is great,” Murray said. “It was a typical Keith Tkachuk goal scored about 2 feet from the net.”
C Ryan Johnson received a game-misconduct penalty after instigating a fight with Dallas R Krys Barch in the second period. … Prior to the game, the Blues honored Bill Guerin for playing in his 1,000th game Friday night in Detroit. He became one of 213 NHL players to reach the milestone.