NHL Game Summary - St. Louis at Columbus
(Sunday, March 11th)
Final Score: St. Louis 2, Columbus 1
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - David Perron netted the eventual game-winning goal early in the third period as the St. Louis Blues stayed hot with a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second leg of a home-and-home series at Nationwide Arena.
Patrik Berglund also scored and Jaroslav Halak stopped 33 shots for the Blues, who have won five straight and nine of their last 10.
The win gave the Blues 97 points, most in the NHL and five clear of the idle Vancouver Canucks for the top spot in the Western Conference.
"The goalie was our best player," Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We hit the wall mentally and physically, and our goalie stole the game."
Mark Letestu scored the lone tally for the Blue Jackets, who lost both ends of the home-and-home on the heels of a four-game winning streak. Curtis Sanford gave up both goals on 26 shots in the loss.
After a scoreless first period in which Sanford made 10 saves and Halak stopped seven, the Blues got on the board first just 1:09 into the second period.
Alex Pietrangelo accepted a pass at the point and blasted a slap shot on net that was initially stopped by Sanford, but Berglund was on the doorstep to slam home the rebound.
Columbus tied the game at one at 11:20 of the second frame after Ryan Johansen got a pass from Brett Lebda in the neutral zone and gained the blue line on the right wing. Johansen swerved to the slot and dropped it off to Letestu. Letestu then ripped a wicked wrist shot through traffic and past Halak from the right circle.
The Blues took the lead for good at 3:46 of the third frame after Perron picked up the puck in the defensive end and raced up the right wing. He gained the line with speed and beat Sanford with a sharp-angle wrist shot.
Following a high-sticking penalty to Pietrangelo at 18:17, the Blue Jackets pulled Sanford to make it a 6-on-4 advantage for the final minute-plus of action, but Columbus was unable to find the tying goal.
"Tonight, I thought we created a lot of scoring chances, but Halak was very good," Blue Jackets interim head coach Todd Richards said. "They had the edge last night, but tonight I thought we played right with them."
Columbus is 58-97-25 all-time in the second game of back-to-back situations...Prior to Sunday's game, the Blue Jackets activated right wing Jared Boll off injured reserve. Boll had not played since February 9 when he suffered a foot injury against Dallas and missed 14 games...Columbus went an incredible 0-for-8 with the man advantage, while the Blues could not score on four power-play chances.
03/11 21:17:11 ET