The St. Louis Blues entered last night’s game with the Columbus Blue Jackets, one point ahead of Columbus and two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Blues outplayed Columbus in every aspect of the game jumping out to a 2-0 lead after two periods on goals by David Backes in the first and Andy McDonald in the second. Then the flood gates opened in the third. After McDonald added his second goal of the game, 1:25 into the third, the Blue Jackets closed the score to 3-1 on a tip in by Rick Nash, which ended a 186 minute, 15 second shutout streak by Blues goalie Manny Legace. Then with 9:35 remaining, Keith Tkachuk put the game out of reach with a power play goal, his 10th of the year, followed by David Perron adding a goal two and half minutes later. Dan Hinote scored another late goal. It was the first time in nearly a year since the Blues scored six goals in a game, the last time was on January 16, 2007, a 6-2 win over the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks.
Back to Legace, who was named the NHL’s number one star of the week for his play last week continued to play in front of the Blues. He had two shutouts in three games last week and nearly had another against Columbus. Legace has three shutouts on the year and a goals against average of 2.06. (Turning aside a Columbus shot last night, photo by Bill Greenblatt, UPI)
A tough stretch coming up for the Blues. The host the Stars on Thursday, travel to Columbus on Friday, then back home Sunday to face the Canucks. A stretch of four games in six days.