Notes & Quotes
DENVER (AP) -Ryan Johnson scored St. Louis' second short-handed goal of the season and Manny Legace stopped 39 shots, lifting the Blues to a 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
Legace improved to 13-2-0 lifetime against the Avalanche with a 1.88 goals-against average.
Paul Kariya and Jay McClement scored first-period goals for the Blues, who've won two in a row.
|Wojtek Wolski, front, tumbles on the ice after being checked by St. Louis Blues defenseman Bryce Salvador in the third period of Colorado's 4-1 loss on Thursday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)|
David Backes added an empty-net goal with 1:27 remaining, his ninth goal of the season.
Johnson scored his short-handed goal 95 seconds into the second period, staking the Blues to a 3-0 lead and ending the night of Jose Theodore, who was pulled in favor of Peter Budaj.
Theodore saw seven shots and stopped four. Budaj turned back all 16 shots he faced in his relief appearance.
The Avalanche was finally able to solve Legace early in the third period when Ben Guite lined a shot over Legace's right shoulder for his eighth goal of the season.
Ryan Smyth returned Thursday after missing 18 games with a fractured ankle. He had five shots on goal and drew a 2-minute penalty for roughing in nearly 20 minutes of ice time.
The Blues were last in the league with only one short-handed goal before Thursday. Johnson grabbed a loose puck, skated past Wojtek Wolski and beat Theodore for his second goal this season.
McClement continued to torment Colorado, scoring a goal midway through the first on a wrist shot. He's scored four of his seven goals this season against the Avalanche.
Kariya redirected the puck past Theodore just 3:11 into the game for his 15th goal of the season. Kariya spent the 2003-04 season with Colorado.
Colorado captain Joe Sakic missed his 34th game since being injured on Nov. 30. Sakic was again on the ice prior to the team's morning skate Thursday, prompting Colorado coach Joel Quenneville to say Sakic is "progressing real well."
Avalanche forward Paul Stastny has recovered from an appendectomy, but his return has been delayed due to a groin injury. Stastny has missed 12 games.
The Avalanche also lost defenseman Brett Clark for an indefinite amount of time after he dislocated his shoulder against Anaheim on Tuesday. Clark had played in 200 straight games for Colorado before the injury. The team also recently placed Cody McCormick on the injured reserve with a bruised chest.
Notes: Avalanche F Milan Hejduk turned 32 on Valentine's Day. ... Colorado is 0-for-8 on the power play over the past two games. ... St. Louis and Colorado have combined for 34 goals in four games this season. ... Backes picked up his 14th assist of the season on Kariya's goal. ... Blues F Yan Stastny, who was called up from Peoria of the AHL on Monday, is still looking to make his debut with the team after being scratched Thursday. He's the older brother of Paul Stastny.