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  •   Drake's Goal Silences Blues

    Coyotes Logo By R.B. Fallstrom
    Associated Press
    Tuesday, April 27, 1999; 11:15 p.m. EDT

    ST. LOUIS – Dallas Drake's power-play goal snapped a second-period tie and the Phoenix Coyotes' defense made it stand up for a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues and a commanding lead in their first-round series Tuesday night.

    Greg Adams also scored and Nikolai Khabibulin made 27 saves for the Coyotes, who have won three straight since losing the opener at home. They can close out the series on Friday night in Phoenix.

    The Blues' Pascal Rheaume got his first goal of the playoffs and Grant Fuhr rebounded nicely from his Game 3 disaster, when he allowed four goals on 10 shots in a 5-4 loss. Fuhr didn't allow a goal until the Coyotes' 12th shot and he made 18 saves.

    But the Coyotes put the clamps on high-scoring defenseman Al MacInnis, who entered the game with an NHL-leading eight points in the playoffs. MacInnis got little room to maneuver and Coyotes captain Keith Tkachuk blocked three of his shots.

    Just as in the regular season, home ice was no advantage for the Blues. St. Louis closed the season on a 14-4-1 road run, but was only 18-17-6 at the Kiel Center.

    Geoff Courtnall was in the penalty box for roughing when Drake scored his third goal, and sixth point, of the playoffs when he deflected Teppo Numminen's shot from the point with 34.8 seconds to go in the second. Phoenix had been 2-for-26 on the power play in the series before then.

    Drake leads the Coyotes in scoring in the playoffs after getting only nine goals in the regular season.

    Fuhr got a huge ovation when he was introduced as the starter and an even bigger one when he made a diving save to thwart Mike Stapleton on a shorthanded breakaway at 3:25 of the second. He also made a nice spread-eagle save to stop Adams on a 2-on-1 break at about the five-minute mark of the second.

    Khabibulin was at his best in the two minutes after Rheaume scored, stopping a couple of chances from close in. Jyrki Lumme saved a goal in the first period when he got a piece of the puck on what appeared to be an easy tap-in for Turgeon. He stuffed two more Turgeon efforts in the final minute.

    Turgeon, who had been a team-worst minus-5 for the series, set up the game's first goal while flat on his back. Getting dragged down by Lumme near the net didn't stop Turgeon from making a backhand centering pass to Rheaume – St. Louis' lone lineup change – for a tap-in at 5:58 of the second period.

    St. Louis missed a chance to clear the puck, enabling Adams to tie it at the 11-minute mark off a setup from Robert Reichel. Rick Tocchet hopped out of the crease just in time.

    © Copyright 1999 The Associated Press

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