Originally created 12/16/00

Blues beat Thrashers

ATLANTA -- Pierre Turgeon scored three goals and the St. Louis Blues went on to beat the Atlanta Thrashers 6-3 Friday night for a club-record eighth consecutive victory.

The Blues (21-4-3) had won seven in a row four previous times in their 34-year history, including Oct. 19-Nov. 2 of this season.

It was the 15th hat trick for the 31-year-old Turgeon, who is in his 14th season in the NHL, fifth with St. Louis. The No. 1 choice in the 1987 entry draft, last had three goals on Dec. 2, 1999 in a 3-1 win over Nashville.

Turgeon's third goal and 14th of the season broke a 3-3 tie with 44 seconds left in the second period, when he converted a perfect pass from Pavol Demitra past Atlanta goalie Damian Rhodes.

St. Louis made it 5-3 on Jochen Hecht's eighth goal with 5:56 remaining in the third period and Dallas Drake added an empty-net goal with 38 seconds left.

Turgeon's other goals came at 10:33 of the first period when he poked in a rebound off a shot from Scott Young. His second at 3:22 of the second period was unassisted when he picked up a loose puck just inside the Atlanta blue line and beat Rhodes on a 15-foot wrist shot for a 2-0 lead.

The Thrashers, who had won six of eight, tied it 2-2 in the second period on goals 51 seconds apart against rookie goalie Brent Johnson, who improved to 11-1.

The first goal by Atlanta's Tomi Kallo - his eighth - came at 4:54 and Yannick Tremblay's power-play goal - his fourth - followed at 5:45. The Blues had stopped 27 straight power plays and led the NHL with a 90.9 percentage coming into the game.

Young gave St. Louis a 3-2 lead at 10:44 of the middle period with his team-high 16th goal, before Atlanta's Ray Ferraro tied it 47 seconds later.

Notes: Former Atlanta Flames standout Eric Vail, who won the 1975 Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie, was hired Friday by the Thrashers to work with fan development and community initiatives. ... Johnson entered with a league-leading 1.46 goals against average. ... Rhodes made his second consecutive start after missing 18 games with a groin injury. He beat Chicago 3-1 on Wednesday night. ... The Thrashers (11-13-6-1) were again foiled in their attempt to get to .500 for the first time in their two-year history.


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