St. Louis Blues' Roman Polak (46), of Czech Republic, and Chicago Blackhawks' Brian Campbell (51) battle for a puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce) By Bill Boyce
Chicago Blackhawks' Troy Brouwer (22) skates by St. Louis Blues' Alexander Steen (20) and Jay McClement, right, in the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce) By Bill Boyce
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Blues' first game after changing coaches was another dud at home as Tomas Kopecky scored twice for his third career multipoint game in the Chicago Blackhawks' 6-3 victory Saturday night.
Patrick Sharp also had two goals and the Blackhawks scored four straight goals to pull away from a 2-all tie. Chicago has won five of six and has 59 points, tied with San Jose for best in the NHL pending the Sharks' late home game against Edmonton.
Brian Campbell and Kris Versteeg also scored for Chicago.
Eric Brewer, Andy McDonald and Keith Tkachuk scored for the Blues, who lost their fifth in a row at home after failing to capitalize on a 7-minute power play in the first period. Home woes got Andy Murray fired earlier in the day and an 11th straight sellout combined with the change to Davis Payne, who had been coaching the team's AHL club in Peoria, Ill., failed to get the Blues out of their rut.
The Blues are 6-14-3 at home, one of the wins coming in Sweden to open the season. They've been a confounding team, given their superior 11-4-d 3 road record.
St. Louis has lost five in a row overall and the goals allowed matched a season worst.
Kopecky has three goals and five assists in 39 games but also had two assists in a victory over the Devils on Thursday. In 222 career games he has 15 goals and 40 points.
The Blackhawks had a 13-5 shots advantage in the crucial second period. Campbell's fifth goal from the slot ricocheted off at least two players at 3:15 and Versteeg kept the puck on a 2-on-1 break before beating Ty Conklin on a shot just inside the post with less than 2 minutes to go.
Defenseman Mike Weaver's perfect mid-ice hit flattened Sharp, leading to retaliation that saddled Cam Barker with 7 minutes in penalties plus a game misconduct. The Blues settled for tying it at 2 at 16:05 on McDonald's 13th goal when Cristobal Huet's clearing attempt deflected off the forward's skate, although both teams were a man short.
The Blackhawks had a 12-3 shots advantage the first 13 minutes, including Kopecky's second and third goals of the season off assists from Colin Fraser. David Backes assisted on both of the Blues' first-period goals.
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