Legace saved 31 shots as the St. Louis Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks 1-0 on Saturday night. It was Legace’s third shutout of the season and 16th of his career.
“I feel way better when we get a win then when I get a shutout,” Legace said. “I’d rather win a 10-9 game then a game like tonight’s.”
The Blues earned six points on their West Coast road trip and entered the All-Star Break on a three-game winning streak. “We knew we had to come into San Jose and do a job,” added Legace. “We wanted to go into the break on a winning streak and we are. We played a great game. This building is one of the hardest to play in. I’m really surprised that we held them scoreless.”
Since St. Louis fired coach Mike Kitchen on Dec. 11, and hired Andy Murray, the team has come alive going 12-4-4 and moving back into the playoff hunt in the Western Conference.
“Any time you can come into California and sweep the teams here it’s something special,” said Murray. “The calibre of play on this coast is unbelievable.”
Murray liked the way his team was playing and thought they stood a good chance to win.
“I liked the fact they didn’t have any points and you start to hope you can get one yourself and our goalie was playing good,” he said. “They had a lot shots but they were mostly to the outside.”
Bill Guerin scored the game winner with just 1:24 left in the second period when he wrapped around the goal and flipped the puck past Sharks’ goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
Guerin took his time making the shot.
“I just came around the net and tried to put it in there,” he said. “Sometimes funny things happen and the puck went in.”
Guerin was more impressed that his team was able to upset San Jose, which had a four-game winning streak snapped.
“It’s hard to beat them,” Guerin said. “They’re young, fast and they control the puck almost better than any other team out there. You have to look out for a lot of guys.”
“I’m disappointed about tonight,” San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. “You want to go into the break with a win and we could have gotten within two points of Anaheim.”
The loss left the Sharks four points behind the faltering Ducks for the lead in the Pacific Division.
St. Louis is now 21-5-2 at San Jose which surprised many of the Blues players.
“This a tough barn to play in,” Keith Tkachuk said. “They’re a tough hockey team. I don’t know what it is. There’s a lot of energy in this building. And when you have players like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau do defend against and winning here can almost impossible.”
It was game of missed opportunities for San Jose as they pressured the Blues defence all night and narrowly missed scoring several times. The Sharks of late have fallen into a bad habit of letting the other team score first and it cost them against the Blues.
Guerin’s goal was the 10th time in the last 12 home games that the Sharks had surrendered the first goal of the game.
Notes: Murray became the 12th active NHL coach to coach 500 games. … The Sharks have gone 7-2 since being shutout 8-0 by Phoenix on December 30. … After the break the Blues play 11 of their next 15 games at home. … With the win, January becomes the Blues first winning month of the season. … Sharks defenceman Kyle McLaren missed his second straight game after undergoing undergoing minor arthroscopic surgery to clean up his knee on Wednesday. … The game was the Sharks 12th straight sellout at home.