|STL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|CBJ||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The St. Louis Blues' lost month is finally over.
Lee Stempniak had a goal and an assist in the third period, and Curtis Sanford posted his second career shutout in a 2-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night that ended the Blues' franchise-record, 11-game losing skid.
"It's a big relief to have the streak over," Blues coach Mike Kitchen said. "That's been hanging over our heads for a long time now. Even though it wasn't one of our better games, we got rewarded for it."
The game was also Sergei Fedorov's debut in a Blue Jackets uniform. Fedorov was acquired in a trade with Anaheim on Tuesday.
Scott Young added a goal for the Blues, who hadn't won since a 3-2 victory over Anaheim on Oct. 19 - a 28-day drought.
"To get out of a streak like that, where everything is snowballing - every time you make a mistake it's in the net, everybody's squeezing their sticks - you need an ugly win and a big effort from a goaltender," Blues center Doug Weight said. "Sandy came in and made some great saves and put us in position to win.
"Now we can breathe and start playing 20 minutes at a time."
Sanford, spelling starter Patrick Lalime, stopped 36 shots in only his 10th NHL game.
Stempniak, who scored the Blues' only goal a week earlier in a 3-1 loss at Columbus, broke up the scoreless game with 7:47 remaining.
Blue Jackets defenseman Bryan Berard's blind pass from the blue line went to Stempniak, who was all alone coming in from the left wing on goaltender Marc Denis with Jan Hrdina trying to cut him off. Stempniak coasted in front across the crease, faked and then flipped the puck past Denis.
The unassisted goal was Stempniak's third of the year.
"It's great for us to get out of it," Stempniak said of the losing skid. "We knew this was the type of game it was going to take - a low-scoring game and sort of just staying with it."
Young added an insurance goal with just 3:17 left, stretching out his arm with his stick to redirect Stempniak's centering pass.
Columbus, which has lost seven of eight, outshot the Blues 36-16 and had numerous prime scoring opportunities. The Blue Jackets were 0-for-5 on the power play, running their man-advantage drought to 21 straight.
Their best scoring chance came early in the third period. Jason Chimera skated out after serving time for a hooking penalty and found the puck on his stick at the blue line with no one between him and Sanford. He moved in and faked, but his shot was kicked away by Sanford.
"It was outstanding," Kitchen said. "That was the save of the game right there. He was terrific. He's going back, it looked like he was beat but he got his leg up and made the save. I've got to give him all the credit for this win."
All in a day's work, Sanford said.
"The goaltender's job is to stop the ones you're supposed to stop and make a couple of key ones at key times. I was able to do that," Sanford said. "I put forth a good 60 minutes for the guys and I'm just glad we were able to score a couple of goals at the end and snap this thing."
Fedorov looked fluid while shaking off jet lag - he arrived in Columbus on Wednesday afternoon after a 15 1/2-hour trip - to get off three shots in the opening period.
"He didn't have much sleep and he still looked pretty good," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said.
Fedorov had 15:34 of ice time, the second-highest total for any Blue Jackets forward.
"I was not as sharp as I'd like to be," Fedorov said.
Notes: St. Louis D Eric Brewer sustained a separated right shoulder in the first period. He is day to day. ... The Blues had also lost their last seven on the road. ... The game matched the teams with the two worst records in the NHL.
|Lee Stempniak (3) ASST: NONE|
1 - 0 STL
|Scott Young (5) ASST: Lee Stempniak (2), Barret Jackman (2)|
2 - 0 STL
|Bryan Berard Holding against Jamal Mayers|
|Jeff Hoggan Hooking against Steven Goertzen|
|Adam Foote Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Steven Goertzen Fighting (maj) against Barret Jackman|
|Barret Jackman Fighting (maj) against Steven Goertzen|
|Eric Weinrich Tripping|
|Doug Weight Hooking|
|Barret Jackman Interference|
|Adam Foote Interference|
|Jan Hrdina Boarding|
|Jason Chimera Hooking|
|Bryce Salvador Delaying Game-Puck over glass|