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Blues cool off Blue Jackets, 'under' cashes

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Now that David Backes has made it through the worst drought of his career, the St. Louis Blues captain has found his scoring touch again.

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Backes, who went 15 games without a goal, scored for the second straight game to help the Blues beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Friday night.

This one didn't earn Backes any style points, as he swatted home what proved to be the winning goal while lying on his back in the slot.

But he will take it.

``I just find the puck on my back and I said, `Hey, I might as well whack this toward the net somewhere.''' Backes said. ``I've had enough blind luck where I'm hitting posts or crossbars or missing the net.

``I'm due for a few that will go in that maybe shouldn't. We'll take it any way we can right now.''

The Blues have won three in a row after a three-game skid. St. Louis entered the night in eighth place in the Western Conference.

``It's not the ideal win, but we'll take it,'' said Blues forward Chris Stewart, who scored his team-leading 16th goal. ``They don't give up much. This time of the year you're going to have to score the ugly ones, and that's what we did.''

The Blues are 15-2-1 when Stewart has at least a point.

St. Louis has won all three meetings with Columbus this season and 10 of 11 overall. The Blue Jackets failed to earn a point for only the third time in 19 games.

Columbus coach Brad Richards said he had no complaints with his team's effort.

``I don't know if we were less sharp, less crisp,'' Richards said. ``I thought effort-wise and things we wanted to accomplish in the game, we were executing.''

Backes, who broke his goal drought in Chicago on Thursday, has nearly doubled his goal total in two days. He has five goals this season.

Patrik Berglund added an empty-netter with less than a second remaining.

Blues goalie Jake Allen (9-3-1) made 26 saves. He gave up just a late second-period goal to Artem Anisimov. Marian Gaborik had an assist, giving him three points in his first two games with Columbus after being acquired from the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 16 shots for the Blue Jackets.

Stewart broke a scoreless tie at 15:58 of the second period with a power-play goal. He took a centering pass from Alex Pietrangelo and backhanded a shot past Bobrovsky from the slot.

Anisimov appeared to give the Blue Jackets momentum when he skated in front from behind the net and beat Allen with 1:24 left in the second, but just 11 seconds later, Backes finished a rush and scored from the slot while lying on his back to give the Blues the lead again.

``That's sports,'' Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson said. ``Sometimes goals like that go in. Nine out of 10 times that doesn't go in. But it did tonight.''

NOTES: Columbus D Adrian Aucoin played in his 1,100th NHL game. ... Jay Bouwmeester has three assists in his first two games with St. Louis. ... Stewart has nine goals and 16 points in his last 15 games.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
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