The St. Louis Blues have found out the three most important factors in winning games - location, location, location.
Gino Cavallini's power-play goal at 4:31 of the third period Thursday night lifted the Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The victory was the third straight for the Blues and gave St. Louis a 9-1-1 mark in its last 11 games. The loss snapped Pittsburgh's four-game win streak."We scored three goals by putting the puck on the net," said St. Louis Coach Brian Sutter, noting how deflections help the Blues. "You don't score if you don't have people going to the net and standing in front of the net."
Positioned in the right faceoff circle, Cavallini tipped a shot from the right point by Jeff Brown past goaltender Tom Barrasso at 4:31 of the third period to give St. Louis the victory.
"I passed to Brown on the point, and I had just finished telling him, 'Just keep it down around my waist,' if he's going to shoot it," Cavallini said. "He just took a wrister in, and it hit the shaft of my stick."
The Blues tied the score 2-2 at 1:51 of the third period with Tony Tanti serving a major penalty for high-sticking Geoff Courtnall. Paul Cavallini passed across the slot to Michel Mongeau, who put the puck by Barrasso from the right edge of the crease for his first goal.
The Penguins took a 1-0 lead at 5:23 of the first period on a goal by John Cullen, who entered the game as the NHL's leading scorer with six goals and 26 assists. Mark Recchi intercepted a pass from behind the net by Ron Wilson at the right edge of the crease, passed to Cullen at the left side of the crease, and he put the puck underneath goaltender Curtis Joseph.
"I've got to give credit to Joseph," Pittsburgh Coach Bob Johnson said. "We had a lot of quality opportunities. They picked two (goals) out of the air. What are you going to do?"
Pittsburgh increased its lead to 2-0 on Kevin Stevens' 10th goal at 16:42. Cullen carried the puck over the blue line into the left faceoff circle and dropped it to Stevens, who scored over Joseph's right shoulder.
The Blues cut the lead to 2-1 at 8:46 of the second period on a goal by Paul MacLean. Scott Stevens fired a slap shot from the left point, and MacLean, positioned in the left faceoff circle, tipped the puck by Barrasso.
Flames 8, Flyers 2
At Philadelphia, Sergei Makarov and Joe Nieuwendyk each scored one goal and three assists for Calgary. The Flames outshot Philadelphia 44-27 and dominated play for most of the game, scoring four goals in the first 6:31 of the third period and hand the Flyers their fourth loss in their last five home games.
Canucks 5, Maple Leafs 3
At Toronto, Brian Bradley and Steve Bozek each scored a goal and an assist for Vancouver. Gary Valk closed out the scoring at 8:16 of the third period with his first NHL goal.
Blackhawks 5, Oilers 3
At Chicago, Chris Chelios, Steve Thomas and Mike Hudson each had a goal and an assist to help the Blackhawks hand Edmonton its eighth straight loss. The Oilers are 1-8 since Mark Messier went out of the lineup Oct. 16 with a knee injury. The previous franchise record for consecutive losses was six.
North Stars 3, Nordiques 2
In Bloomington, Minn., Jon Casey stopped 24 shots, helping Minnesota hand Quebec its eighth straight loss. Casey had shut out the Nordiques 2-0 last week in Quebec. The North Stars extend their unbeaten streak to three games at 2-0-1.
Kings 5, Red Wings 1
At Los Angeles, Jay Miller and Todd Elik scored first-period goals and Kelly Hrudey made 28 saves to lead the Kings. Wayne Gretzky added his 11th goal of the season and Tomas Sandstrom scored his ninth and added an assist for Los Angeles.