Blues Advance With Overtime Win Over Coyotes
By Mel Reisner
PHOENIX Pierre Turgeon's deflection with 2:01 left in overtime completed St. Louis' comeback from the edge of playoff elimination with a 1-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 7 Tuesday night.
Grant Fuhr stopped 35 shots in his sixth playoff shutout and earned his 90th postseason victory. Only Colorado's Patrick Roy (102) has more.
The Blues trailed the series 3-1, but won twice at Phoenix and once at home to take the series. The Blues, fifth in the Western Conference to Phoenix's fourth, advanced to play the rested Dallas Stars, who swept their series with Edmonton and haven't played since April 27.
Game 1 will be in Dallas on Thursday, and Game 2 will be Saturday.
Nikolai Khabibulin of Phoenix had 27 saves in regulation and seven more in overtime before Ricard Persson took a shot from the left circle. Turgeon tipped it for the win.
It was the third overtime in the four games in Phoenix. The Blues won the last two. Scott Young, who had an assist for starting the play that led to Turgeon's second goal of the series, won Game 5 with an overtime goal.
The victory marked St. Louis' second recovery from a 3-1 deficit this decade (1991) and sent it into the second round for the third time in the last four years.
It also perpetuated the Coyotes' string of playoff futility.
The former Winnipeg franchise has reached the second round only twice in 14 postseasons dating to 1982, and never in eight tries since 1987. This was the third time this decade that the Jets-Coyotes blew 3-1 leads.
The game may also have been the last for Phoenix Coach Jim Schoenfeld, who said after the Blues tied the series with a 5-3 victory Sunday in St. Louis that he would stake his job on Game 7, then added, "But that's already been done.''
The Coyotes were buoyed at the start by the return of sparkplug Jeremy Roenick, who missed the last two regular-season games and the first six of this series because of a broken jaw.
Roenick, who had 24 goals and 48 assists during the season, took the ice equipped with a sturdy faceguard attached to his helmet to protect his jaw.
Dallas defenseman Derian Hatcher shattered Roenick's jawbone with an elbow on April 14. The all-star center was able to return 20 days later because of a new dental-surgery technique that uses titanium plates to hold the bones together rather than wires.
© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press