Cracknell scores tiebreaking goal for Blues

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 26, 2011
Adam Cracknell, recalled from the minors earlier Monday, put St. Louis ahead for good in the second period and the Blues scored two rare power-play goals in a 5-3 win over the Dallas Stars. St. Louis, which won its sixth successive home game, improved to 7-1-1 in its last nine. The Blues are 15-3-4 under coach Ken Hitchcock, who took over for the fired Davis Payne on Nov. 6. Dallas lost for the third time in eight games. The Stars had won the previous five games against St. Louis. Chris Stewart scored twice for St. Louis including an empty-net goal with 50 seconds left. Evgeny Grachev, Chris Stewart and Jason Arnott also tallied for the Blues, who improved to 14-3-1 at home. The Blues scored two power-play goals in a game for just the second time this season. They broke out of an 0-for-9 slump but still have a league-low 14 goals with the man advantage. Goalie Jaroslav Halak improved to 7-7-4 after losing six of his first seven decisions to begin the season. Mike Ribeiro, Eric Nystrom and Michael Ryder scored for Dallas. Ryder cut the deficit to 4-3 with his team-high 14th goal of the season with 5:13 remaining in regulation. Ryder has at least one point in the last six games. Cracknell broke a 1-1 tie with the fourth goal of his career at 6:09 of the second period. Arnott pushed the lead to 3-1 on a power-play goal with 1.1 seconds left in the second period. Arnott, who has eight goals, scored for the fourth time in the last five games after just four goals in his first 29 games. Grachev scored his first career goal at 6:45 of the third period to push the lead to 4-1. Cracknell was recalled to replace injured center T.J. Oshie, who will miss at least two games with an injured left wrist. Dallas goalie Richard Bachman was pulled after the second period. He allowed three goals on 25 shots. Patrik Berglund added two assists for St. Louis. NOTES: Oshie will not play Tuesday at Detroit but is expected back Friday against Nashville. ... The Blues have given up a league-low 19 goals in the first period. ... Hitchcock guided the Stars to the Stanley Cup in 1999. ... Dallas LW Loui Eriksson has three goals and three assists in his last six games against St. Louis. The Stars are 2-11 when trailing after two periods. .... Eriksson and Jamie Benn each had five-game point streaks snapped on Monday.
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