Ducks Closer To Playoff Berth With Win Over Blues

The Ducks play at Los Angeles on Saturday.

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Blake Leads Ducks Over Blues, 2-1

Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Jason Blake scored twice, including the go- ahead goal just 1:50 into the third period, as the Anaheim Ducks took a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues at Honda Center. It was a big two points for the Ducks, moving them into the eighth spot in the Western Conference. They are tied with Calgary for points with 81, but Anaheim has two more wins and has played two fewer games.

Ray Emery, making his first start of the season, stopped 30 shots for the Ducks, who have won three of four. Nathan Oystrick scored the lone goal for the Blues, who have dropped their past two games. Jaroslav Halak made 22 stops in the loss. St. Louis sits 10 points out of the final playoff spot with 12 to play.

The deciding goal came off a drop pass from Saku Koivu that saw Lubomir Visnovsky slap it on net and Blake redirect it for his 14th goal of the season. Emery made 10 stops in the final frame to preserve the win. Oystrick's goal came halfway through the second period on the power play when his initial shot at the right circle was stopped, but he grabbed his own rebound and snapped it in.

However, Anaheim scored 1 1/2 minutes later as Blake's backhand from the right side on the rush hit off a defender and went in. Each team won twice in the series this season...St Louis plays at Los Angeles on Thursday...The Ducks play at Los Angeles on Saturday...St. Louis went 1- for-2 on the power play while Anaheim was 0-for-3.

For more news on tonight's game, be sure to read Anaheim Calling.

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Ducks Host Blues At Honda Center

(Sports Network) - The playoff-hopeful Anaheim Ducks will try to get back in the win column this evening, when they host the St. Louis Blues at the Honda Center. The Ducks had a two-game win streak snapped Sunday against visiting Phoenix and were also dealt just their second regulation loss in eight outings (5-2-1).

With 79 points, Anaheim is seeded 10th in the West and is two points behind Calgary for the conference's final postseason berth. Phoenix scored the final three goals Sunday in Anaheim to skate away with a 5-2 victory at the Honda Center. The Ducks had pulled even with Phoenix at 2-2 after Corey Perry's goal at 15:46 of the second period, but Lauri Korpikoski and David Schlemko tallied before the end of stanza to give the Coyotes control of the game.

"We made some mistakes and they capitalized on them," said Ducks forward Todd Marchant. Perry scored a pair of goals for the Ducks and extend his career-best season total to 36 markers. Dan Ellis turned aside 17-of-21 shots before being pulled in favor of Ray Emery, who made nine saves in the third period. It was Emery's first appearance in an NHL game since last February when he was still a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.

It's unclear if Ellis or Emery will get the start in net tonight. Regular starter Jonas Hiller is still sidelined indefinitely with vertigo. Anaheim has lost two of its last three home games and is 21-12-2 in Orange County this season. The Blues are eight points behind the Ducks in the West standings and the conference's 13th-seeded club has been more or less reduced to a spoiler role.

St. Louis had been relishing in that spoiler status with three straight victories before the streak was snapped Saturday by the visiting Detroit Red Wings. Pavel Datsyuk scored the game-winner in the third period and Niklas Kronwall added a goal and two assists to lead the Red Wings to the 5-3 triumph at Scottrade Center.

Matt D'Agostini had a goal and an assist, while David Backes and Adam Cracknell also scored for the Blues. Jaroslav Halak allowed all five goals on 27 shots. This evening marks the first of four straight on the road for the Blues, who have a pitiful 11-17-5 record as the guest this season.

St. Louis has taken two of three from the Ducks this year and can win the season series tonight. The Blues recorded a 9-3 home victory the last time these clubs met on Feb. 19. Andy McDonald, T.J. Oshie and Chris Stewart each had a pair of goals in that blowout victory. However, the clubs have split the last six meetings overall and the Blues have been defeated in two straight and six of its last seven trips to Anaheim.

For more news on tonight's game, be sure to read Anaheim Calling.

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