|SJS||0||2||1||(0 - 0)||3|
|STL||1||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Vesa Toskala has learned to make the most of his opportunities.
The San Jose Sharks' backup goalie, who had not played since losing in St. Louis 4-2 on Dec. 18, turned the tables on the Blues, making 25 saves to lead the Sharks to a 3-1 victory Saturday night.
"I just have to do my best when I get a chance," said Toskala, who improved to 7-4-4. "Fortunately, we have been winning most of the games I've played."
Sharks coach Ron Wilson said that Toskala is not the type who is bothered by a lack of work.
"He works hard in practice," Wilson said. "Plus, I don't think he's the type who feels a lot of pressure. He's not out there worried that he's going to let the team down."
Toskala acknowledged that he was a little rusty after not seeing action for two weeks.
"It took me a little while to get into the game," he said. "By the third period, I thought I was seeing puck really well."
Nicholas Dimitrakos, Marco Sturm and Todd Harvey scored for San Jose, which has won six of eight. The Sharks have recorded at least one point in 26 of their last 31 games.
Scott Mellanby scored his sixth goal for St. Louis. After losing just once in their first 16 home games, the Blues have dropped two of three there.
Mellanby felt the Blues could have given Toskala more of a challenge.
"I don't know much about him, but we certainly didn't test him the way we need to," Mellanby said. "They boxed out well around their net. We have to pay a little bit more of a price to get in there."
Blues coach Joel Quenneville also was not happy.
"I thought tonight was clearly a lack of effort," Quenneville said. "Just getting outworked, outhustled and that's basically it."
Chris Osgood, who missed the last two games with a bruised right knee, made 30 saves for the Blues. Keith Tkachuk earned his 799th career point with an assist on Mellanby's goal.
San Jose trailed 1-0 entering the second period, but the Sharks took the lead on special teams.
The Sharks tied it at 6:40 of the second during a two-man advantage when Dimitrakos tipped Brad Stuart's pass from the right point past Osgood for his third goal.
While the Sharks were short-handed, they went ahead at 10:07 when Alyn McCauley outmuscled Chris Pronger for the puck in the left corner and centered it to Sturm in front. Sturm slid a shot under Osgood for his 13th goal to make it 2-1.
Harvey sealed the victory when he scored with 4:30 remaining.
The Blues took a 1-0 lead at 7:14 of the first period when Mellanby deflected Pronger's shot from the right point past Toskala.
|Scott Mellanby (7) Tip-in - ASST: Chris Pronger (22), Keith Tkachuk (19)|
1 - 0 STL
|PPG - Niko Dimitrakos (3) Tip-in - ASST: Brad Stuart (15), Scott Hannan (9)|
1 - 1 Tie
|SHG - Marco Sturm (13) Backhand shot - ASST: Alyn McCauley (8)|
2 - 1 SJS
|Todd Harvey (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Alexander Korolyuk (2), Wayne Primeau (11)|
3 - 1 SJS
|Scott Thornton Boarding|
|Mike Rathje Hooking|
|Christian Laflamme Interference - Obstruction|
|Barret Jackman Interference - Obstruction|
|Mark Rycroft Tripping|
|Wayne Primeau Holding|
|Rob Davison Slashing|
|Rob Davison Slashing|
|Keith Tkachuk Tripping|
|Alyn McCauley Hooking|
|Rob Davison Hi-sticking|
|Scott Mellanby Hi-sticking|
|SA: 26||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 25||EV: 21 - 22|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 4|
|SV%: .962||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 33||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 30||EV: 23 - 24|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 5|
|SV%: .909||SH: 3 - 4|