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NHL Roundup : Chicago Ends 9-Game Losing Streak After Beating St. Louis, 5-2

Mike Keenan, in his four seasons as coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, was accustomed to winning. Twice he took the Flyers to the final round of the Stanley Cup competition.

But Keenan built a reputation as a taskmaster, unforgiving and difficult to get along with. Despite a 190-102-28 record, the Flyers fired him.

When he was given the job of coaching the Chicago Blackhawks, Keenan decided to ease off a bit. He remained a firm believer that hard work was good for hockey players, but he also became a little forgiving.

The new Keenan didn’t get the job done. The Blackhawks have been the National Hockey League’s worst team and Keenan is beginning to believe that nice guys finish last.

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The Blackhawks showed some of Keenan’s toughness Sunday at Chicago when they scored a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues to end a 9-game losing streak.

The Blackhawks scored 3 goals in 93 seconds in the second period to break the game open. Dirk Graham and Rick Vaive scored on power plays and Duane Sutter on a breakaway.

Denis Savard, who assisted on Graham’s goal, scored the other 2 Blackhawk goals to run his point total to 49.

The Blackhawks, who had not won since they beat Buffalo, 3-2, Nov. 16, dominated after a scoreless first period. With goaltender Darren Pang holding the Blues scoreless for more than half the game, the Blackhawks had an easy time of it.

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“I wish I knew why we haven’t been playing this well most of the time,” Keenan said. “This was a game in which we came out hitting and we never let up.

“Maybe, we will start playing the way I know we are capable of playing.”

Washington 6, Buffalo 4--Defenseman Grant Ledyard broke a 4-4 tie late in the second period at Buffalo with his first goal of the season, then converted a pass into his second 36 seconds into the final period to clinch the victory.

Mike Gartner, returning to form after an injury, also scored twice for Washington and added an assist.

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Pete Peeters, who stopped Montreal Saturday night in a scoreless tie, stopped 21 shots. The Capitals, who are 9-3-2 in their last 14 games, moved into third place in the Patrick Division.

Vancouver 8, Winnipeg 6--Rich Sutter scored twice in the third period as the Canucks snapped a 4-game losing streak at Vancouver.

The Canucks led 4-3 going into the final period, but trailed by 2 goals until rookie Trevor Linden started the comeback with a power-play goal at 12:24.

Just 22 seconds later, Sutter scored his first goal to tie the score at 6-6. Sutter then scored the game-winner at 15:27 and Stan Smyl added an empty net score in the last minute.

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