|STL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
|ANA||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||6|
GAME: St. Louis Blues (2-5-2) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (4-5-1).
TIME: Friday, 10:30 p.m. EDT.
While Jean-Sebastien Giguere's health is no longer a concern for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, poor play in close games remains the St. Louis Blues' biggest worry.
The Blues look to snap a string of three straight one-goal losses when they visit an Anaheim Mighty Ducks team coming off a strong effort in Giguere's return.
Giguere made 25 saves after missing three games because of a groin strain to lead Anaheim to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.
"It was only a week for me, so I don't think it was too much of a setback," Giguere said. "Mentally and physically, we were sure it was good. We tested it with two practices instead of one, so I was ready to go and I felt good."
Giguere will test a St. Louis team that hasn't won since beating the Mighty Ducks 3-2 on Oct. 19. The Blues' skid includes two overtime games.
"Basically, we keep shooting ourselves in the foot," St. Louis coach Mike Kitchen said. "We get a lead and we don't know how to protect it, then we make a mistake and it's in our net."
St. Louis lost 5-4 in overtime to the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday when Petr Nedved scored off a rebound 1:51 into the extra period.
Jamal Mayers scored twice for the Blues, marking his second multigoal game of the season.
Ryan Johnson and Jeff Hoggan scored in an 18-second span of the second period to put St. Louis ahead 3-2. It was Johnson's first goal of the season.
Blues left wing Keith Tkachuk, on injured reserve with a rib injury, will miss at least two more games.
"He had a little setback," Kitchen said.
Giguere is healthy again, and so is the Ducks' power play.
Selanne's return to the Ducks after stints with San Jose and the Colorado Avalanche has rejuvenated the nine-time All-Star, who scored 225 goals for Anaheim before being traded in March 2001. He has six goals in his first 10 games back with the team.
"I think it's a different Teemu than when he was here the first time," Giguere said. "He's having a lot more fun than he used to. But you can tell that he's here for one thing, and that's to win. And it's good to see that."
Though Giguere is back, the Ducks are still battling injuries to key players.
Sergei Fedorov has missed seven straight games because of a groin strain, defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was scratched Wednesday because of a fractured rib and rookie Ryan Getzlaf sat out his second game because of a strained left shoulder. Their status for Friday's game is uncertain.
STANDINGS: Blues - 6 points, 3rd place (tied), 14 PB, Central Division. Mighty Ducks - 9 points, 4th place (tied), 5 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Blues - Mayers, 5 goals and 18 PIM; Petr Cajanek, 8 assists and 9 points. Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 6 goals; Rob Niedermayer, 7 assists; Selanne, Lupul and Niedermayer, 9 points; Kip Brennan, 24 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Blues - Power play: 18.5 percent (10 for 54), 12th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.9 percent (47 for 56), 12th. Mighty Ducks - Power play: 15.8 percent (10 for 63), 17th. Penalty killing: 76.0 percent (57 for 75), 27th (tied).
GOALTENDERS: Blues - Patrick Lalime (2-5-2, 0 SO, 3.60 GAA); Reinhard Divis (0-0-0, 2.14). Mighty Ducks - Giguere (3-2-1, 2.65); Ilya Bryzgalov (1-3-0, 3.06).
SEASON SERIES: Blues, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Oct. 19; Blues, 3-2. At St. Louis, Eric Brewer's wrist shot made it through a crowd and past Bryzgalov with 56 seconds remaining to give the Blues a win.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blues - 0-1-2 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 3-1-0 at home.
|Dec 31 '05||ANA 5 at STL 4 - SO||C. Kunitz|
|Dec 21 '05||STL 3 at ANA 6||T. Wright|
|Oct 28 '05||STL 4 at ANA 6||R. Niedermayer|
|Oct 19 '05||ANA 2 at STL 3||E. Brewer|