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Blues’ win streak ends

St. Louis lost its first game after trading Keith Tkachuk to the Atlanta Thrashers.
Monday, February 26, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 5:52 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks’ success is often tied to Martin Havlat’s production.

Havlat had a goal and two assists Sunday to help the Blackhawks snap a five-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues.

Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 22 shots as the Blackhawks, 0-3-2 in their previous five contests, ended St. Louis’ four-game winning streak.

Before this one, the Blues traded forward Keith Tkachuk to the Atlanta Thrashers for forward Glen Metropolit, a first-round draft pick in 2007 and two other picks.

Duncan Keith, Adrian Aucoin and Bryan Smolinski scored in the first period for Chicago as the Blackhawks converted three of their first five shots against goalie Curtis Sanford to build a 3-0 lead. Patrick Sharp added a short-handed, empty-net goal with 3:16 left.

Sanford stopped four of 11 shots before being replaced by Jason Bacashihua at the start of the third period.

Bacashihua stopped all five shots he faced.

Lee Stempniak scored for the Blues.

St. Louis also was considering offers for pending free agent Bill Guerin, who leads the team with 28 goals. He didn’t use the trade as an excuse for St. Louis’ poor showing.

“It shouldn’t be,” Guerin said. “We’re all professionals here, and that’s part of the business. You just have to accept it and move on.

“We have to play for the St. Louis Blues and we came out a little flat. It’s too bad we got off to the start we did. We dug ourselves a pretty deep hole.”

Guerin was aware he might’ve played his final game with the Blues.

“It’s different, but you just have to think of the other guys in the room,” he said. “You might be moving on, but most of the other guys are still going to be here and it’s an important game for them. You’ve got to get out there and give it a good effort.”

St. Louis also received a third-round pick in 2007 and a second-round pick in 2008 from the Thrashers. If Atlanta re-signs Tkachuk, the Blues will get a first-round choice in 2008.

Metropolit is expected to join the Blues for practice Monday.


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