Reasoner impresses in St. Louis

Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2001

DALLAS -- Marty Reasoner played nearly as many games in the AHL as the NHL this season. Considering he shuffled between Worcester, Mass., and St. Louis three times, it would be understandable if he was nervous every time the phone rang or a coach called him over for a chat.

But Reasoner impressed the St. Louis Blues enough to earn a spot on the playoff roster. Although he sat out the first five games, his play in the sixth game of the first-round series against San Jose earned him quality minutes in the opener of the second round against Dallas.

Reasoner responded by setting up the Blues' first goal and scoring the next two as the Blues beat the Stars 4-2 Friday night.

''I was staying positive and working hard, hoping to get an opportunity,'' Reasoner said of his series of demotions and recalls. ''It's been a tough year so far, but we have a lot of games left. I'm just excited to play with those guys.''

St. Louis coach Joel Quenneville credited Reasoner with being patient, which isn't easy for a guy playing his ninth career playoff game.

''That's what the playoffs are all about,'' Quenneville said. ''Sometimes, guys you don't expect end up coming through for you -- not that we don't think Marty can do that.''

The big news for the Stars was losing center Mike Modano to an injured left ankle.

Dallas already was down 2-1 when Modano knocked legs with Alexei Gusarov a minute into the second period. Modano limped off the ice and did not return. He left the arena wearing a walking boot.

An MRI exam Saturday will determine whether Modano, who leads the Stars with three goals and five points this postseason, will be back for Game 2 Sunday night.

''He's our best player,'' Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock said.

The Blues came out with a lot of energy and lured the Stars into playing at a faster pace than they prefer. Dallas wasted a four-minute penalty on St. Louis captain Chris Pronger, then got behind with uncharacteristically poor defense.

Reasoner took a giveaway by defenseman Darryl Sydor in the Stars' zone and passed to Pavol Demitra on a 2-on-1. Demitra slid the puck between the pads of Dallas goalie Ed Belfour for a 1-0 lead.

After John MacLean tied it 53 seconds later, Reasoner stole the puck from Sydor and scored his third career playoff goal.

All the Stars were caught out of position on Reasoner's second goal, allowing him to again skate at the goal untouched. He faked Belfour to the ice, then flipped the puck over him.

Five minutes later, Pierre Turgeon scored for St. Louis on a 3-on-2 break, using a screen from MacLean to beat Belfour.

''I don't think Dallas was too worried about me,'' said Reasoner, who had 35 points in 34 games for Worcester and four goals and nine assists in 41 games with St. Louis.



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