ST. LOUIS (AP) _ If the St. Louis Blues make it to overtime, their opponents are in trouble.
Bryce Salvador scored 1:50 into the extra period for a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, moving St. Louis back into a playoff position. The Blues' 11th overtime victory of the season tied the NHL record set by Calgary in 1999-2000.
``We were going for it,'' Salvador said. ``We weren't really worrying about losing the game. We needed to gamble and we came through.''
The extra point gave the Blues, who squandered a 3-1 second-period lead, 85 points and a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with the Oilers and Nashville Predators with five games to go.
St. Louis has one more win than Nashville and two over Edmonton. The Blues have made the playoffs 24 straight seasons, the longest current streak in professional sports.
``That was a huge point for us to get, that extra point,'' said Scott Mellanby, who scored the Blues' first goal. ``Unfortunately it took overtime but we got it, we found a way to get it.''
Keith Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, and Doug Weight earned his 600th career assist for the Blues, who struggled to put away the worst team in the West.
``We were a little short-handed in some areas,'' coach Brian Sutter said. ``But hey, we didn't go away. We battled hard to get the point we got.''
Salvador's third goal of the season came on a wrist shot from the slot that trickled past Jocelyn Thibault, making his first start since hip surgery on Nov. 15. The goal was set up when Mike Sillinger stole the puck during a clearing attempt.
``The puck was bouncing,'' Thibault said. ``I think he hit kind of a sinker, I don't think he got all of the shot. It all happened so quick, I should have had that one.''
Salvador celebrated, but it was a delayed reaction.
``I didn't know if he had stopped it and I kind of saw it go through a little bit, and I didn't know if it made it all the way,'' Salvador said. ``The light came on, and so everyone cheered.''
The Blackhawks got goals from Matt Keith, Tuomo Ruutu and Deron Quint. Chicago had been 8-3-3 in its last 14 meetings against the Blues. The teams meet again Sunday in Chicago.
Quint's fourth goal tied it 3-3 at 7:16 of the third period. He was left alone in the slot after the puck deflected off a skate, and he beat Chris Osgood with a high drive.
The Blues took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from Mellanby, on a one-handed rebound shot with Weight assisting, and Tkachuk from the slot two seconds after an interference call on Quint expired.
Keith scored his second goal of the season with a rebound shot during a five-on-three advantage at 10:30 of the second to cut the gap to 2-1. Just over two minutes later, Pavol Demitra scored on a break-in off a feed from Tkachuk to again put St. Louis ahead by two.
A half-minute after a Blues goal was waved off, because Mellanby's wrist shot was deflected by a high stick from Weight, Ruutu made it 3-2 with his 19th goal. Ruutu skated around the Blues' defense and scored at 16:45.
|Scott Mellanby (14) ASST: Brian Savage (15), Doug Weight (47)|
1 - 0 STL
|Keith Tkachuk (32) ASST: Eric Weinrich (14), Pavol Demitra (34)|
2 - 0 STL
|PPG - Matt Keith (2) ASST: Bryan Berard (31), Steve McCarthy (3)|
2 - 1 STL
|Pavol Demitra (23) ASST: Keith Tkachuk (38), Bryce Salvador (4)|
3 - 1 STL
|Tuomo Ruutu (19) ASST: Bryan Berard (32)|
3 - 2 STL
|Deron Quint (4) ASST: Eric Nickulas (12), Brett McLean (20)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Bryce Salvador (3) ASST: Mike Sillinger (10)|
4 - 3 STL
|Jason Strudwick Fighting (maj)|
|Matt Walker Fighting (maj)|
|Deron Quint Holding the stick|
|Jim Vandermeer Slashing|
|Deron Quint Interference|
|Eric Weinrich Tripping|
|Matt Walker Hi-sticking|
|Chris Pronger Hi-sticking|
|Jim Vandermeer Tripping|