ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Two newcomers from Phoenix are helping the St. Louis Blues stay in the playoff hunt.
Mike Sillinger scored two goals, and Brian Savage added another as the Blues rallied to earn a 5-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
The Blues acquired Sillinger and Savage from the Phoenix Coyotes last week in separate deals. In five games, Sillinger has three goals and two assists.
``It's my job,'' the 32-year-old Sillinger said. ``It's like a second life for me. It's been a tough year for me. I had hernia surgery at the start of the year. I enjoyed it at Phoenix, but coming here and getting a chance for the playoffs, especially at my age, it's all a player can ask for.''
Savage is also pleased to be on a playoff contender.
``We couldn't let these two points slip away,'' Savage said. ``It was desperate times in the third period there and we came through.''
After the Blues took a 2-0 lead on goals by Sillinger and Alexander Khavanov, the Blue Jackets came back to take the lead when Trevor Letowski scored twice and Alexander Svitov added a goal.
St. Louis responded with three goals in the third period.
``They didn't play desperate until the third period when it was 3-2,'' Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. ``I thought they played like a team that was too nervous to make some mistakes. They're a good hockey team, don't get me wrong. In the first two periods, I thought they were playing laid back and didn't want to make mistakes.''
Keith Tkachuk's winner came when Columbus' Todd Marchant was off for tripping. After Petr Cajanek muffed a shot, Tkachuk got the puck and scored at 12:37. Sillinger scored his second of the game at 16:36 on a two-on-one break.
The Blues tied it at 3 when Savage poked in a rebound of Doug Weight's shot at 6:41.
``In the first two periods, we were really, you know, awful,'' Tkachuk said. ``For a big game like this at this time of the year, you can't just turn it on and expect to go. It has to be there.
``We were behind the eight-ball there for a while. We had to fight through it.''
Letowski expected the Blues' comeback.
``We knew they were going to come out hard in the third,'' Letowski said. ``It's only natural. They're fighting for their lives.''
The Blue Jackets took the lead at 2:47. Nikolai Zherdev flung the puck in from the top of slot toward the net, and Letowski deflected the shot in off the right post.
The Blues outshot Columbus 17-6 in the third period and 32-21 for the game.
St. Louis, which has reached the playoffs 24 consecutive years, moved one point ahead of Los Angeles in the race for eighth place in the Western Conference. The Blues' postseason streak is the longest current run in professional sports.
Columbus, an NHL-worst 5-23-4-2 on the road, has dropped five straight overall.
The Blues, 4-0-2 in their last six, went 5-1 this season against Columbus. St. Louis is 9-1-1 at home versus the Blue Jackets.
St. Louis led 1-0 after the first period on Sillinger's short-handed goal, the Blues' first since Jan. 1.
Blue Jackets goalie Fred Brathwaite was hit by a long shot from Bryce Salvador. Brathwaite finished the first period but was then replaced by Marc Denis because of a groin injury. Brathwaite is day to day.
St. Louis went ahead 2-0 at 4:46 of the second period on Khavanov's power-play goal, the first shot against Denis.
``We kind of fell asleep after that and turned the puck over too much,'' Blues forward Dallas Drake said.
|SHG - Mike Sillinger (10) ASST: Dallas Drake (20), Chris Pronger (35)|
1 - 0 STL
|PPG - Alexander Khavanov (3) ASST: Doug Weight (45), Brian Savage (14)|
2 - 0 STL
|Alexander Svitov (1) ASST: Jody Shelley (3), Tyler Wright (7)|
2 - 1 STL
|Trevor Letowski (11) ASST: Nikolay Zherdev (13)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Trevor Letowski (12) ASST: Nikolay Zherdev (14), Aaron Johnson (4)|
3 - 2 CBJ
|Brian Savage (13) ASST: Dallas Drake (21), Doug Weight (46)|
3 - 3 Tie
|PPG - Keith Tkachuk (29) ASST: Petr Cajanek (11)|
4 - 3 STL
|Mike Sillinger (11) ASST: Pavol Demitra (31), Keith Tkachuk (36)|
5 - 3 STL
|Reed Low Hi-sticking|
|Jamal Mayers Boarding|
|Trevor Letowski Hooking - Obstruction|
|Mike Sillinger Diving|
|Duvie Westcott Interference|
|David Vyborny Holding the stick|
|Duvie Westcott Hooking - Obstruction|
|Pavol Demitra Hi-sticking|
|Todd Marchant Tripping|
|Nikolay Zherdev Holding the stick|