Adam Oates got the game-winner on a rebound shot at 7:55 of the third period and the St. Louis Blues ended a lengthy power-play drought with a fluke goal in a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota North Stars that tied the Norris Division finals at a game apiece Saturday night.
Brett Hull was well covered by Stewart Gavin when he shot from the slot, but Oates grabbed the rebound at the left side of the net and slid it past goaltender Jon Casey for his fifth goal of the playoffs, snapping a 2-2 tie.Jeff Brown made it 4-2 with 6:19 to go when he put the puck into an empty net on a two-on-none break, converting a pass from Dave Thomlinson. Rich Sutter added an empty-net goal with 19 seconds remaining.
Rod Brind'Amour was credited with a power-play goal - the Blues' first in 25 opportunities - when North Stars center Marc Bureau accidentally kicked the puck in the net at 6:35 of the second period to tie the score 2-2.
Garth Butcher also scored for the Blues, who'll try to regain the home-ice advantage from the underdog North Stars when the series shifts to Minneapolis for Game 3 Monday night. The North Stars are trying to pull off their second straight playoff upset after beating the Chicago Blackhawks, the regular-season point champions, in six games.
Gavin and Brian Bellows scored for Minnesota. The Blues entered the game with a league-low 3-for-44 on the power play and had only one shot on their first three chances with a man advantage. But they succeeded on the fourth with Bureau's help and wound up 1-for-6.
Casey stopped a shot from close range by Brind'Amour, but Bureau's skate got in the way. As the puck slid slowly across the red line, Bureau was unable to pull it back in time with his stick.