NHL

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 - 6:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Backes' power-play goal lifts Blues

Watch highlights of the Blues' win over the Jackets.
Watch highlights of the Blues' win over the Jackets.
Share This Story

   
 

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)

Ken Hitchcock's surging St. Louis Blues added a special one to their recent collection of victories.

NHL

Full NHL coverage

We've got everything you need with NHL news and analysis, scores, photos, videos, power rankings and more.

David Backes scored a power-play goal in the third period to lift St. Louis past the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on Sunday night, giving Hitchcock the win in his first game against his former club.

Hitchcock, the winningest coach all-time for Columbus, guided the Blue Jackets to their only playoff berth in 2009 before being fired a season later.

The game wasn't as emotional for Hitchcock as it was playing against Dallas, which he coached to a Stanley Cup title in 1999, but it certainly had meaning.

''There's a lot of players on the other side I'm close with,'' he said. ''I have a healthy respect for those players because I would say 10 of those guys went through the wall for me.''

And it was another former member of the Columbus organization that began to change the tide for St. Louis. Kris Russell, traded to the Blues earlier this month, scored with eight seconds left in the middle period to tie it.

''I thought the goal in the second period helped us a lot,'' said Hitchcock, who has guided the Blues to a 7-1-2 mark since replacing Davis Payne on Nov. 6. ''But more than anything the grind that we put on in the third period, we got in on a big body game, and that really helped us.''

Brian Elliott made 23 saves for the Blues to move to 10-1-0 this season.

Derek Dorsett scored, Curtis Sanford made 27 saves - losing for the first time in six starts - and Columbus had its five-game points streak snapped.

''It was almost like a playoff game,'' Sanford said. ''It was like a chess match. Their special teams came out on top. That's usually the difference in these games.''

POWER RANKINGS

Best on the ice or just playing nice? Which team tops our power rankings?

Tied 1-all entering the final period, the Blues' league-worst power play came through at 7:49. T.J. Oshie flicked a backhand pass from the left edge of the crease to a wide-open Backes for his ninth goal of the season. It was St. Louis' first man-advantage tally in six games.

Columbus had plenty of chances throughout, including a power play of its own just a few minutes later, but a hooking penalty by Fedor Tyutin - his third minor infraction of the game - negated the opportunity.

''That was a 200-foot game where you had to battle for every inch,'' Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel said. ''We had a lot of chances to actually score and we didn't. They certainly capitalized on a couple of mistakes that we made.''

Elliot was steady holding the Blues' lead, stopping Antoine Vermette on a 2-on-1, shorthanded break with just over 5 minutes left. Then with Sanford off for an extra attacker, Elliott blocked Rick Nash's doorstep stab.

In a mostly tight-checking game, played cautiously early, Dorsett broke in alone, compliments of a Samuel Pahlsson steal at center ice, and beat Elliott at 5:06 of the second period to put Columbus on the board first.

Later in the period, the Blue Jackets marched up the ice on a 3-on-1 after a miscue by Barret Jackman. Nash slid the puck to Carter, but his shot was blocked by a sprawling Roman Polak.

Skating four aside, Steen shook his coverage and powered around the right side, strong-arming a shot on goal. His rebound off Sanford came to Russell near the crease for the quick putback.

''It was big going into the third period knowing that we had a tie,'' Russell said.

The best scoring chance of the first period came off the stick of Rick Nash on a semi-breakaway, stopped by Elliott.

''When you lose one and you've got to start over and start a new streak,'' Arniel said. ''You can't let it linger.''

Notes: Russell was traded on Nov. 11 to the Blues in exchange for D Nikita Nikitan. Russell has three goals and an assist, while Nikita has five assists in eight games each with their new teams. ... Hitchcock has posted the best 10-game start for a new Blues coach in franchise history, ahead of Joel Quenneville, Red Berenson, Andy Murray, Mike Keenan, and Al Arbour. ... G Steve Mason served as Sanford's backup after missing the last three games with a concussion. ... Blue Jackets RW Jared Boll played in his 300th NHL game.

Tagged: Blues, Blue Jackets, Curtis Sanford, Avalanche, Rick Nash, Kris Russell, Brian Elliott

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt