|VAN||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
|STL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
ST. LOUIS (AP) - At least the St. Louis Blues have somebody's number.
Curtis Sanford stopped 34 shots for his third shutout of the season and Mike Sillinger scored for the fifth straight game, helping the Blues end a nine-game losing streak with a 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night.
Vladimir Orsagh, Christian Backman and Petr Cajanek also scored for the Blues, whose last victory also came over the Canucks on Jan. 2. The slump was two games shy of a franchise-record 11-game losing streak earlier this season.
The Canucks bring out the best in the Blues, who haven't forgotten they got eliminated by Vancouver in the first round of the playoffs three years ago. Checks from bruising Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi have led to shoulder injuries to Barret Jackman and the now-retired Al MacInnis, and Jackman tried to goad Bertuzzi into a fight a handful of times.
"We're just fired up to play them," Jackman said. "We've got a little bit of a vendetta against them, and it shows.
"Everybody comes out to play and it's good to see."
Sanford, who has four shutouts in 28 career starts, was at his best in the third period when the Canucks had a 21-5 shots advantage. Vancouver, beginning a seven-game trip, was blanked on four power plays in the final period.
"I thought he played great," Canucks forward Markus Naslund said. "He kept them in the game."
This despite the Canucks' strategy of planting Bertuzzi and Ed Jovanovski in front of the net to obscure the view.
"I was trying to peek over shoulders," Sanford said. "Those are big bodies, and our defense isn't going to move them. It's really tough, so you just have to try and focus on where the puck is all the time and just keep an eye out for it."
The Canucks had been 7-2 since falling 4-1 at St. Louis, and had outscored the opposition 22-6 during a four-game winning streak. Backup goalie Maxime Ouellet, who got only his third start, made 19 saves.
"We didn't do good things throughout the entire game," coach Marc Crawford said. "I don't think we had enough guys who worked hard enough and we end up with that type of result when that happens."
The Blues have the worst record in the NHL but had been threatening to end the slump the last two games, both shootout losses. They're 6-14-3 at home and 11-29-7 overall.
"We kind of knew this was coming," Backman said. "The last two games we played really well and we deserved better."
The Blues were held without a shot during a double-minor for high-sticking on Anson Carter midway through the first period before breaking through on their next power play. Sillinger scored his 18th goal on the deflection of Scott Young's drive from the point at 16:24, giving him five goals and two assists in his last five games.
Orsagh's first goal in five games with the Blues, and his first NHL goal since March 30, 2004, put St. Louis ahead 2-0 late in the second period. Orsagh, claimed off waivers from the Phoenix Coyotes earlier this month, scored from the slot on a feed from Kevin Dallman at 17:06.
Backman made it a three-goal bulge at 1:38 of the third on a break-in after his penalty for holding the stick ended. Backman deked Ouellet and scored on a backhander for his third goal of the season.
Cajanek added an empty-net goal with 40 seconds to go.
Notes: Former Blues F Aaron Downey was claimed off waivers by the Canadiens and had an assist in a 7-3 loss at Carolina. Downey and coach Mike Kitchen apparently clashed over playing time. ... Sillinger left with back spasms after getting driven into the boards by Mattias Ohlund late in the second period. He said he was day-to-day. ... The Canucks are 1-12-2 when trailing after two periods. The Blues are only 6-4-4 when leading after two. ... Jovanovski returned to the Canucks' lineup after missing 11 games with a groin injury.
|PPG - Mike Sillinger (19) ASST: Scott Young (21), Doug Weight (32)|
1 - 0 STL
|Vladimir Orszagh (1) ASST: Kevin Dallman (4), Christian Backman (8)|
2 - 0 STL
|Christian Backman (3) ASST: Dallas Drake (15), Jamal Mayers (10)|
3 - 0 STL
|EN - Petr Cajanek (5) ASST: Dean McAmmond (8)|
4 - 0 STL
|Anson Carter Hi-sticking|
|Anson Carter Hi-sticking|
|Mark Rycroft Interference on goalkeeper|
|Mark Rycroft Fighting (maj)|
|Steve McCarthy Fighting (maj)|
|Ryan Kesler Hooking|
|Mattias Ohlund Holding|
|Ryan Kesler Tripping|
|Ed Jovanovski Hooking|
|Doug Weight Hooking|
|Maxime Ouellet Delaying Game-Ill. play goalie|
|Christian Backman Holding the stick|
|Barret Jackman Holding|
|Barret Jackman Interference|
|Eric Weinrich Interference|
|SA: 22||TOI: 57:43|
|Saves: 19||EV: 14 - 16|
|PIM: 2||PP: 4 - 5|
|SV%: .864||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 34||TOI: 59:54|
|Saves: 34||EV: 19 - 19|
|PIM: 0||PP: 15 - 15|
|SV%: 1.000||SH: 0 - 0|