Nieuwendyk's Overtime Goal Propels Stars, 5-4
By Denne H. Freeman
Joe Nieuwendyk's goal with 11:38 left in overtime gave the Dallas Stars a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night and a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.
The teams will meet at St. Louis on Monday night in the third game of the best-of-7 series.
Nieuwendyk took a perfect pass from Sergei Zubov as both teams played a man short in a four-on-four situation and whipped a shot from just inside the right circle past the glove of goaltender Grant Fuhr. It was Nieuwendyk's second goal of the game to go along with an assist.
Dallas struck early in the third period to tie the game at 4 when Jere Lehtinen scored on a rebound after a shot by Mike Modano to send the game into overtime.
Pavol Demitra scored his second goal of the game in the second period with just one second left on a 5-on-3 power play to give the Blues a 4-3 lead. Al MacInnis fed Demitra a perfect centering pass and Demitra found the open side of the net to beat a diving Ed Belfour.
Scott Young and Pierre Turgeon got the other two goals in a productive second period for the Blues. Turgeon played although he had a sore leg after being slashed by Pat Verbeek in the first game of the series.
Nieuwendyk and Mike Keane scored for the Stars in the wild second period when both teams broke away on numerous odd-man rushes.
The Stars and Blues traded goals in the first. Jamie Langenbrunner got Dallas on top with a slap shot from the top of the circle that went between Fuhr's legs. Langenbrunner was set up on a crisp pass from Nieuwendyk.
The Blues retaliated with just 32.8 seconds left in the period when Demitra skated free and got off a 45-foot shot that got between Belfour's legs. It was the first goal that Belfour had yielded in 152 minutes and 24 seconds.
Both Verbeek of the Stars and Jamal Mayers of the Blues weren't available because of the one-game suspensions they drew for slashing incidents in Dallas' 3-0 victory on Thursday night in the first game of the series.
The game marked the return of the Stars' Derian Hatcher, who was suspended seven games for breaking the jaw of Phoenix's Jeremy Roenick on April 14.
© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press