LOS ANGELES (AP) -Dallas Drake scored twice in a 2:32 span of the first period and the St. Louis Blues gave coach Andy Murray a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night in his return to Staples Center.
Bill Guerin also scored and David Backes and Jay McClement each had two assists. Manny Legace made 33 saves against the team he broke in with in 1998-99.
Murray, whose 215 regular-season wins during his five-plus seasons as Kings coach are the most in franchise history, guided the team to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons with them. He was fired last March 21 after a 5-0 home loss the night before to Colorado dropped the team's record to 38-27-5.
The Blues hired Murray on Dec. 11 after firing Mike Kitchen, and are 11-4-4 in their first 19 games under their new coach - including wins over Anaheim, Buffalo and New Jersey.
Ironically, on the night of Murray's return to Los Angeles, he found his former team at the bottom of the Western Conference standings under Marc Crawford - who guided Colorado to a Stanley Cup title in 1996. The Blues are 3-0 against the Kings with Murray behind the bench, outscoring them 14-8.
The crowd of 16,544 saluted Murray when his face was shown on the video board above center ice during a timeout in the first period. At the bottom of the screen were the words: "Thank you Andy for seven years of tireless effort and dedication to the Kings."