Blues 6, Kings 5

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ST. LOUIS – Yutaka Fukufuji made his NHL debut, but allowed Denis Wideman’s power-play goal midway through the third period as the St. Louis Blues beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-5.

Fukufuji, the first Japanese-native to play in the NHL, entered to start the third in relief of Barry Brust. He faced five shots on goal, but allowed Wideman’s goal 7:32 into the period that gave the Blues a 6-4 lead.

Brust allowed five goals in the first two periods.

The 24-year-old Fukufuji was recalled Friday on an emergency basis after Mathieu Garon was placed on injured reserve with a finger injury. Fukufuji became the first Japanese native to dress for a league game Dec. 16 against Dallas in another emergency stint.

Wideman also assisted on a second-period goal by Keith Tkachuk and on Martin Rucinsky’s score in the first – both on the power play.

The Blues took the lead for good on Doug Weight’s goal late in the second period. His fifth of the season gave the Blues a 5-4 advantage. Weight also assisted on Rucinsky’s goal and helped set up Wideman’s score.

Rob Blake’s power-play goal with 5:12 made it 6-5.

Blake gave the Kings a brief 3-2 lead when he Scored 97 seconds into the second period.

Michael Cammalleri started the scoring 3:31 into the game with his 17th goal of the year.

Martin Rucinsky scored at 8:24 in the first to tie it before Tom Kostopoulos gave the Kings a 2-1 lead just over 6 minutes later.

Notes: D Christian Backman returned to the Blues’ lineup after sitting out seven games. He injured his right knee December 26 at Nashville. … It was coach Andy Murray’s second game against the Kings, who fired him last spring, since taking over the Blues. St. Louis won 5-2 on December 21 in the first meeting. … Saturday’s game interrupted a string of seven road games for St. Louis, which went 2-1 in the first three games and play at Phoenix, Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose in a six-day span starting Monday.

AP-ES-01-13-07 1717EST

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