Blues rookie Tyson Nash has become an obsession for the Edmonton Oilers, who spent an inordinate amount of time trying to inflict physical harm on the Blues' hitman Friday night at Kiel Center.
The result: Nash drew three penalties and ended up with one nasty, grapefruit-sized welt just below his left hip.
Nash was on the receiving end of six hits on his first shift, which ended with Chad Kilger taking an interference penalty for ramming Nash into the boards. That was in retaliation for Nash's legal check that had flattened Boyd Devereaux. Nash's second shift ended with Georges Laroque tossing him to the ice as Nash skated through a scrum.
Later, Ethan Moreau was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for escalating a mini-skirmish between Nash and Mike Grier, who had challenged Nash to a fight. Neither Nash nor Grier was penalized.
"He finally provoked me to the point where I told him to throw his gloves down, but he just skated away," Grier said. "Hey, I don't have a problem with what the guy does. He obviously provides a spark to their team."
Coach Joel Quenneville praised Nash and his linemates, Jamal Mayers and Mike Eastwood: "He forechecked well and showed patience with the puck. That line was very effective. They spent the majority of their ice time in the offensive."
The line didn't produce a point, but Nash earned the game's No. 2 star.
* After Norris Trophy winner Al MacInnis reported a little soreness in his left ankle at the morning skate, the Blues held him out of Friday night's game. MacInnis has missed 12 games since suffering a broken fibula just above the ankle.
Quenneville said he wasn't sure whether MacInnis would play tonight against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
* Winger Kelly Chase sat out with a strained right knee. He initially suffered the injury on a knee-to-knee hit with Todd Bertuzzi on Sunday in Vancouver. He aggravated it by playing against Dallas on Tuesday.
* The Blues have sent veteran defenseman Rudy Poeschek to the Houston Aeros in the International Hockey League. Poeschek, 33, had played five games in Worcester since clearing waivers, helping the IceCats through a spate of injuries.