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Thursday, Apr. 12 7:00pm ET
Turgeon goal sets early tone for Blues

RECAP | BOX SCORE

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Pierre Turgeon and Roman Turek didn't underachieve in the St. Louis Blues' playoff opener.

Jochen Hecht
The Blues made sure Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov felt plenty of pressure around the net.

The two often-maligned stars had big games in a 3-1 victory Thursday night over the San Jose Sharks.

Turgeon, who struggled much of the regular season despite leading the team with 82 points, had a goal and two assists in Game 1 of the Western Conference first-round series. Turgeon didn't have a goal in last season's playoffs, settling for seven assists.

"It's nice to get that first one," said Turgeon, who has been demoted from the top power-play unit from time to time. "You want to start on a good note, and we did that."

Turek, widely blamed for the Blues' stunning first-round exit last spring at the hands of the Sharks after St. Louis won the Presidents' Trophy, had a strong game in goal. Turek also battled inconsistency during the season, but he allowed just one goal in his last two starts and stopped 21 San Jose shots on Thursday.

"I thought he was outstanding," coach Joel Quenneville said. "He just looked very in-control."

Scott Young and Al MacInnis also scored for the Blues, who also took a 1-0 series lead before dropping the next three last spring against the Sharks. Game 2 is Saturday at St. Louis.

"Let's hope we can learn from past mistakes," MacInnis said. "We just forget about this one and start worrying about Game 2."

Patrick Marleau, who led the Sharks with 25 goals in the regular season, scored in the third period.

Neither team had many scoring opportunities before Turgeon got the Blues on the board at 17:10 of the second. He corralled a loose puck near the net, after Young misfired on a shot from the point, and whipped the puck around Evgeni Nabokov and Sharks center Vincent Damphousse, who was prone on the ice in front of the net.

"I just tried to push it, stuff it, and it came out on my forehand," Turgeon said. "I don't know if he knew where it was, but I just shot it on net."

Turgeon stole the puck behind the net when Nabokov was trying to hold it for Jeff Norton to set up the Blues' second goal. He centered the puck and it deflected off the skate of teammate Dallas Drake to Young, who scored on a back-hander at 38 seconds of the third.

Chris Pronger fed the puck across the point to MacInnis several times during a 5-on-3 advantage, and MacInnis finally beat Nabokov with a slap shot at the seven-minute mark.

"The second goal really deflated us," Sharks forward Todd Harvey said. "Nabokov must have felt like he was in a shooting gallery on the 5-on-3."

Quenneville joked that MacInnis "had to ice his arms down" after the sequence.

Turek made a handful of difficult saves earlier in the game, then gave up the shutout on a seemingly innocent effort. Marleau scored on a wrist shot from the slot at 11:15, off an assist from Stephane Matteau.

The Blues set a physical tone from the start, when Sharks defenseman Gary Suter got his head smacked into the glass on a check by Scott Mellanby only 1:37 in. Suter did not return, leaving the Sharks with five defensemen.

"He looked like he lost a fight with John Wayne when he was coming off," coach Darryl Sutter said. "Suter not being there hurt us."

Suter missed the last five regular-season games with a swollen calf muscle.

Game notes
Combined, the teams blew only one lead in regulation when leading after two periods during the regular season. ... Young had three goals and two assists in four regular-season games against San Jose. ... The Blues were 11-0-3-1 when Charles Glenn sang the National Anthem during the regular season. Glenn has the duties for Games 1 and 2. ... Nolan, the Sharks' captain, tied MacInnis for the game high with five shots. But he was minus-2.

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ALSO SEE
NHL Scoreboard

San Jose Clubhouse

St. Louis Clubhouse

Sharks-Blues Series Page


Connolly: Quite a hit in St. Louis


RECAPS
St. Louis 3
San Jose 1

New Jersey 5
Carolina 1

Washington 1
Pittsburgh 0

Colorado 5
Vancouver 4

AUDIO/VIDEO
video
 Pierre Turgeon has trouble handling the puck in front of the net, but gains control and slings it home.
avi: 1865 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Scott Young catches Evgeni Nabokov out of position and makes him pay.
avi: 1144 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Al MacInnis' slapshot from the point goes in untouched giving the Blues a 3-0 lead.
avi: 620 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Patrick Marleau puts the Sharks on the board, ending Roman Turek's shutout.
avi: 848 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

audio
 Pierre Turgeon talks with ESPN's Dave Strader and Phil Schoen after the Blues' Game 1 victory.
wav: 496 k
RealAudio: 14.4 | 28.8 | 56.6