Upshall leads Blues past Blue Jackets 3-1
ST. LOUIS (AP) Scottie Upshall was fired up.
The journeyman forward scored in the third period to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
''I like scoring,'' Upshall said. ''I used to do a lot of it.''
Upshall's fourth goal of the season was No. 119 for his career. It also was his 22nd game-winner in 571 career games.
''It looked like the rest did him good, and I thought he played a very strong game,'' Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. ''He was on the puck, physical, used his speed from a checking standpoint, put a lot of pressure on people and was rewarded. It was a great shot.''
Vladimir Tarasenko scored his 14th goal for the Blues (15-6-3), who were 3-3-2 over their last eight games. Alexander Steen added an empty-netter and Jake Allen made 23 saves.
''Just a good chemistry amongst the four lines tonight and a big team win,'' Upshall said. ''Our best players were our best players.''
Ryan Johansen scored and Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves for the Blue Jackets (10-15-0), who had won three of four and six of their last eight.
''They scored in the third and we didn't,'' coach John Tortorella said. ''It's the type of game that you, if we want to be where we want to be when this regular season's done, you need to at least get a point out of it.''
The Blue Jackets were without center Brandon Dubinsky, who was suspended for one game by the NHL for his cross check on Sidney Crosby in Friday's 2-1 overtime victory against Pittsburgh.
''We're not going to whine here,'' Tortorella said. ''Pittsburgh can whine. Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league, so there's no room for any other team to whine. So we just go about our business. We missed him. We missed him but you can't get involved in what happened in those type of situations.''
Columbus jumped in front at 14:46 of the first after St. Louis failed to clear the puck from the defensive zone. David Savard banked it off the end boards and Johansen poked it past Allen for his sixth goal of the season.
Johansen's goal, which was originally credited to Boone Jenner, gave him a team-high 12 points in November.
The Blues tied it early in the second period after Jenner was sent off for tripping.
After hitting the post earlier on the power play, Tarasenko slipped a wrist shot past Bobrovsky from the left circle at the 2:09 mark, assisted by Kevin Shattenkirk and Steen.
''I think we've been off and on with that power play, lately it's feeling a lot better, feeling like it did last year, getting back to that quick puck movement,'' Steen said. ''We're a lot quicker with the puck and the longer you're out there, the more tired they get because they're chasing you around.''
The Blue Jackets killed off a 5-on-3 power play for 1:13 late in the second, and the teams remained tied at 1 after two periods despite the Blues outshooting the Blue Jackets 18-8 in the second.
Upshall put the Blues ahead on a wrist shot from the edge of the left circle that beat Bobrovsky high on the glove side.
''He played great, he had a lot of energy after the first,'' Steen said of Upshall. ''We go around the room talking about what's been good, and in the first period Uppie had some really good legs and you could tell he was going to have a good game. He had a couple shifts where he banged some bodies around, got some shots off, looked like he was feeling it today.''
NOTES: Tarasenko also assisted on Steen's ninth goal at 19:05. ... Columbus F Markus Hannikainen made his NHL debut. He suffered an upper-body injury in the second period and did not return. ... Shattenkirk's assist extended his point streak to eight games. ... The attendance of 19,927 was the fifth sellout of the season for St. Louis.