Saad's two goals lead Blue Jackets over Blues
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Brandon Saad scored twice to help the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 on Tuesday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Cody Goloubef also scored for Columbus, which has won five of its last seven games. Sergei Bobrovsky continues to recover from his poor start, making 19 saves for a 5-1-0 record in his last six games.
Kevin Shattenkirk scored for banged-up St. Louis, which beat Winnipeg on Monday but has dropped three of four. Brian Eilliot finished with 35 stops.
Taking a 2-1 lead into the third period, the Blue Jackets were confident and controlled closing out their second home win in a row and second of the season.
Columbus' improved penalty kill -- now almost in the middle of the pack after being the worst in the league earlier this season -- made a big kill early in the period, setting the shut-down tone. They even got a few short-handed looks at the Blues' net. The Blue Jackets have fought off 18 consecutive power plays.
St. Louis didn't threaten down the stretch, largely kept in their own zone or to the offensive perimeter by the Blue Jackets. Saad sealed it with Elliot pulled for an extra attacker, scoring with 33 seconds left for his ninth, tied for the team lead.
In a high-speed opening period, Shattenkirk made it 1-0 at 7:36. Ryan Murray lost possession of the puck on a hard stick check in the high slot. Shattenkirk let go a dipping slap shot that squeezed through Bobrovksy.
At the tail end of the period, defenseman Goloubef tied it on a heads-up, long-distance solo effort. He took advantage of open ice before wristing a heavy shot from the left cirlce. The puck hit off Elliot's glove and went into the air over his shoulder, then bouncing on the ice and barely over the goal line.
Saad gave Columbus a 2-1 lead early in the second period on a stunning, spin-around, backhand shot at 4:10. He took a nice, cross-ice feed from Murray on his forehand, pivoted in the low, right circle and sent a powerful shot above Elliot's extended glove.
After Saad's goal, Columbus dominated the period finishing with a 21-3 shots advantage. The chances included dangerous close range tries by Gregory Campbell and Matt Calvert, but Elliot was steady tracking the play, keeping St. Louis in it.
NOTES: Columbus RW Jared Boll played his 500th career game. ... St. Louis C Jori Lehtera took a high stick to the face from Saad, who has scored in three straight games, in the second period and didn't return. ... The Blue Jackets outshot St. Louis 38-20. ...The Blues dropped to 7-4-0 on the road and 7-1-0 when scoring first.