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Blues back to form with fast start

Tuesday, January 3, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:23 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues finally got off to a strong start at home.

The Blues scored three times in the first period Monday night and beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1.

Mike Sillinger, who had two goals and assist for the Blues, said this was the way things used to go all the time at the Savvis Center.

“It’s about time we come out in our own building and put a team away in the first period,” Sillinger said. “We have not beat too many teams in the first period and that’s the way the Blues used to play. I remember coming into this building as the opposition, and the Blues would (always) come out strong. We did that tonight. The key to the game was the start.”

The Blues, who won for only the fifth time at home this season, snapping a three-game skid at the Savvis Center. St. Louis still has a league-low 13 points at home (5-12-3).

“It’s coming to a head here a little bit for us,” said Doug Weight, who had a goal and two assists for the Blues. “We’re starting to get a little confident with the puck and play a little better game. We’ve been on the short end of some games, but we’ve played better.”

Vancouver has been struggling both at home and on the road lately, losing for the seventh time in their past eight games.

“I think we were flat, and it’s happened way too many times for us this year,” Naslund said. “For some reason, we’ve come and given teams chances to get the lead on us. It’s difficult once you’re down a couple of goals to get back and obviously, it gives them confidence and boost, too.”

Anson Carter had the lone goal for Vancouver, and Alex Auld stopped 22 shots.

Curtis Sanford made 30 saves for the Blues, and Scott Young had the other St. Louis goal.

Coming into the game, the Blues had been outscored 42-28 in the first period this season.

Weight got the Blues going 7:40 into Monday’s game with a power-play goal when he deflected Dennis Wideman’s slap shot from the left point past Auld. Weight has 33 points and 18 on the power play.

Carter tied the game 4:53 later with another power-play goal when he knocked in the rebound of a shot by Daniel Sedin.

Weight helped give the Blues the lead for good when he broke in on the right side and dropped a passed to Young between the circles. Young then beat Auld with a wrist shot at 16:18 to make it 2-1.

Just 2:10 later, Sillinger gave the Blues a two-goal advantage with a similar tally. This time, Dallas Drake came up the right side, passed across the ice to Petr Cajanek and Cajanek dropped it in the slot to Sillinger, who scored on a wrist shot.

Auld, who gave up three goals on 10 shots in the first period, stopped all 15 shots he faced over the next two periods. However, the Canucks could not put anything past Sanford made 19 saves in the final two periods, including 12 in the third.

Sanford said he was happy to be back in action. When Patrick Lalime was placed on waivers, Sanford was given the starting job. Then he went down with an injury.

“I was really looking for that opportunity to play a lot more games,” Sanford said. “That’s the first thing that went through my mind when I was injured. I was hoping that chance didn’t go down the toilet.”

Sillinger added an empty-netter with 1:39 to play.


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