Roy scores twice, Ducks beat Blues
ST. LOUIS — Kevin Roy’s stay in the minor leagues was only a few hours long, but that was enough time for him to realize he would much rather be in the NHL.
Given a second chance to be with Anaheim, Roy wants to make the most of it and he got off to a good start Thursday night, scoring two goals to lead the Ducks to a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues.
Despite scoring four goals in his first 15 games with the Ducks, Roy was the odd man out with injured players coming back and he was sent to San Diego of the American Hockey League on Monday.
“There’s a lot of good players here when everyone’s healthy,” said Roy, “I understood. I wanted to work hard and earn my way back. I think it’s part of the process.”
After making the drive south, however, Roy was having dinner and watching a football game when he got a phone call telling him to come back to Anaheim because of an injury to Corey Perry.
“I was happy,” Roy said. “It doesn’t feel like I went back. It’s just a new opportunity ... I want to make the most of my chances. That’s what happened today. ... It felt pretty good to make a difference and get the win.”
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle had been pleased with Roy’s play during his first stint with the team but also did not expect to see him again so soon.
“We wanted to make sure that he got a taste with us, and we knew he was going to come back and would be a better player when he came back,” Carlyle said. “He’s still a young guy cutting his teeth. He’s still got a huge learning curve, but he’s found a way to put pucks in the net.
“We just didn’t know he would do a U-turn on I-5.”
Roy scored both of his goals in a three-minute span early in the third period, turning a 1-0 lead into a 3-0 advantage as the Ducks improved to 3-0-3 in their last six games.
“He’s a smart little player and he knows his way around the rink,” Carlyle said. “The puck follows those guys. ... He’s shown to us he’s capable of making NHL plays.”
The Ducks’ first goal came from Andrew Cogliano at 11:11 of the second period. Anaheim’s three goals came on just 18 shots against Jake Allen, making his seventh consecutive start.
The win was the second by the Ducks in St. Louis in two weeks, having also earned a 3-2 win on Nov. 29 when Roy also scored one of Anaheim’s goals.
In that game, goalie John Gibson stopped the first 36 St. Louis shots before losing his bid for a shutout on a pair of goals by Kyle Brodziak in the final four minutes of the game.
On Thursday, Gibson lost his shutout bid with 5:53 to play on a goal by Patrik Berglund, the first goal by the Blues in two games. They were shut out by Tampa Bay 3-0 on Tuesday night.
“It’s execution,” St. Louis coach Mike Yeo said of the scoring drought. “When you look at the shots that are getting blocked, you see we’ve got to shoot the puck quicker. Having that mindset would help a little bit. It’s been awhile since we’ve gotten a tip or a deflection.”
The Blues also have struggled on the power play and were 0-of-4 with a man advantage against the Ducks.
“It’s really frustrating,” Berglund said. “The game didn’t go our way. I think especially last game we got a little frustrated. I think today at least we kept our heads up but a few small mistakes and they scored on them. But we’ve got to score more goals than one to win games.
“We’ve got to find ways to get bodies in front of the net and to get pucks there. Right now, when we’re down there, sometimes it just looks a little too easy for the other team.”
NOTES: Blues D Jay Bouwmeester was a late scratch, missing his second consecutive game with an undisclosed injury. He predicted after the morning skate that he would play and participated in the pregame warmup. ... Blues RW Chris Thorburn also was in the lineup after being a healthy scratch five of the previous six games. ... The Blues hope backup G Carter Hutton, out with a lower-body injury, will be able to play in one of the back-to-back games this weekend against Winnipeg. ... LW joseph Blandisi returned for the Ducks after missing four games because of an upper-body injury. ... The Ducks, starting their second six-game road trip in the last three weeks, play Saturday night at Washington.