ST. LOUIS (AP)—Manny Legace spent less time rehashing his stellar performance than he did marveling at the complete play of his teammates.
Legace stopped 24 shots and Jamal Mayers scored two goals to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 3-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night. Mayers’ goal 27 seconds after the opening faceoff was all the Blues needed for their sixth win in seven games. They have outscored their opponents 17-9 in the wins.
“From the drop of the puck, we were ready to play tonight,” said Legace, who had St. Louis’ previous shutout, a win over Nashville on Feb. 17.
The Blues were facing a Calgary squad that was playing its third game in four days, including a 5-2 victory at Colorado on Saturday. The Flames are in the midst of a difficult stretch, playing eight games—five on the road—in a 12-day span that finishes with a game at Detroit on Tuesday.
“They played last night and clearly we wanted to get on them early and hopefully we’d tire them out,” Mayers said.
Mayers added a short-handed goal into an empty net at 17:24 of the third. Calgary had pulled goalie Curtis McElhinney to get a 6-on-4 advantage after the Blues were called for having too many men on the ice.
The Blues scored first when Lee Stempniak skated the puck into the right side of the Calgary zone and took two shots, the first hitting the pads of McElhinney and the second clanking off the right goal post. With McElhinney pulled to the right side of the net, Mayers placed his shot into the middle of the empty net for his fifth goal this season. Stempniak was credited with his 10th assist and Eric Brewer, who sat out the Blues game Friday against Vancouver with back spasms, his fourth.
Stempniak has just one goal this season and hasn’t scored since the fourth game. He had 27 goals last year.
“It’s tough, you’re getting chances and they were good chances tonight,” he said. “I hit the post on an open net. The only thing that made that deflated feeling go away was to see Jammer put it in the open net.”
Brad Boyes added his team-leading 13th goal on a power play with 25 seconds left in the second period. He scored after Calgary got caught with too many men on the ice at the 18:09 mark. Doug Weight took the puck deep into the Calgary zone before sending a centering pass to an unmarked Boyes who tapped it in.
Despite outshooting the Blues 24-18, the Flames made only one serious challenge to Legace’s shutout. About midway through the third, Jarome Iginla took a shot that Legace stopped between his legs. The referees reviewed the play to make certain Legace didn’t pull the puck over the goal line as he moved back to the net.
“It had to been real close,” Iginla said “(It) would have been nice if it had went in with about 10 minutes left but it didn’t. We kept trying to throw
Mayers’ first goal marked the third time this season the Blues have scored in the first minute of play. Boyes had the other two, scoring 45- and 54-seconds in against Washington and Nashville, respectively. …St. Louis went 0-3-1 against the Flames last year. … One of the largest cheers from the crowd came during the first period when the University of Missouri fight song was played in a tribute to the school’s football team that earned a No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press poll this week for the first time since 1960.