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NHL Game Summary - St. Louis at Colorado

(Thursday, February 14th)

Final Score: St. Louis 4, Colorado 1

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - David Backes posted a goal and an assist, as the St. Louis Blues thumped the Colorado Avalanche, 4-1, at the Pepsi Center.

Paul Kariya, Jay McClement and Ryan Johnson also scored for the Blues, who won for just the fourth time in their last 15 games (4-8-3). Manny Legace continued his dominance over the Avs, stopping 39-of-40 shots to pick up his 21st win of the season.

Legace improved to 13-2-0 lifetime against Colorado.

"They're very talented offensively," said Legace, commenting about the Avalanche. "They were on fire in the third. We kind of sat back and sat on it. It is tough to play defense against them and we just sat back too much."

Colorado generated 16 shots in the final stanza.

Ben Guite tallied the lone goal for the Avalanche, who welcomed back Ryan Smyth to the lineup after the forward missed the last 18 games with a fractured right ankle. Jose Theodore allowed three goals on seven shots before he was lifted in favor of Peter Budaj, who stopped all 16 shots fired his way.

"He (Legace) played real well tonight, there's no question about it," said Smyth.

Colorado outshot the Blues 10-6 in the first period, but trailed 2-0 on the scoreboard.

Kariya put the Blues on the board 3:11 into the contest when he redirected Erik Johnson's shot from the right point high over the glove of Theodore.

McClement then knocked in a rebound past the extended catching glove of Theodore with 9:38 remaining to give St. Louis a two-goal lead.

Johnson netted the club's second short-handed goal of the season at 1:35 of the second to make it a 3-0 game. The forward carried the puck into the offensive zone, stickhandled around Colorado forward Wojtek Wolski and ripped a quick shot that found room on the short side of Theodore, ending the goaltender's night prematurely.

Colorado finally broke through off a Blues turnover at 3:03 of the third. Guite collected a loose puck, skated to the high slot and fired a shot to the top corner over the stick of Legace.

Backes' empty-net goal with 1:27 remaining sealed the win.

Game Notes

The clubs split the four-game season series...The Avalanche have dropped five of their last six at home...Colorado right winger Milan Hejduk celebrated his 32nd birthday...McClement has scored four of his seven goals this season against Colorado...The Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques franchise fell to 3-8-1 all-time on Valentine's Day...The teams combined to go 0-for-5 on the power play, with Colorado going 0-for-4.

02/15 00:05:46 ET

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