NHL Game Summary - Columbus at St. Louis
(Thursday, December 9th)
Final Score: St. Louis 4, Columbus 1
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - David Backes finished with a goal and two assists while Jaroslav Halak made 27 saves, as the St. Louis Blues earned a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Vladimir Sobotka, Jay McClement and Alexander Steen scored for the Blues, who have won two in a row following a five-game losing streak.
Mathieu Garon allowed three goals on 23 shots for the Blue Jackets, who were coming off a win against Dallas and have dropped six of seven overall.
The Blues controlled the game from start, scoring twice on the power play in the opening period.
Columbus center Samuel Pahlsson earned a tripping penalty just 38 seconds into the game, which led to St. Louis' first goal. After the Blues fought to keep the puck in their offensive zone, Steen picked up the puck above the slot, skated into the right circle and fired a wrister past Garon at 1:14.
Later in the period, with the Blues again skating with an extra attacker, Erik Johnson held control above the right circle. He moved toward the goal line along the boards before firing a centering pass to McClement at the edge of the crease, and McClement shoved the puck in net with 6:41 remaining.
Sobotka's power-play tally in the final minute of the second period upped St. Louis' lead to three.
"I thought we played great 5-on-5," Columbus' Rick Nash said. "I thought we were all over them. Special teams was the difference tonight, and they buried their chances."
Jan Hejda got Columbus on the board 6:56 into the third, but that was the only goal Halak gave up on 12 shots in the period, and Backes' empty-netter with a little more than two minutes remaining secured the victory.
Johnson finished with two assists...St. Louis was 3-for-3 on the man advantage...The Blue Jackets fell to 8-4-0 on the road this season...The Blues are 9-2-1 at home.
12/09 23:36:42 ET