COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -In January, the St. Louis Blues appeared to be headed for another high draft pick and another April playing golf instead of hockey.
With just six games left in the regular season, they find themselves gripping the last spot in the tight Western Conference playoff race.
Patrik Berglund had a goal and two assists and the Blues moved a step closer to the postseason with a 5-2 victory over Columbus on Sunday. It was their second win over the Blue Jackets in 24 hours.
"It feels good to be where we're at, considering where we were," said rookie T.J. Oshie, who had a goal and an assist. "We all know we're not done yet. We've got games left. It's definitely not settled."
St. Louis moved into eighth place in the West, a point ahead of Anaheim, two in front of Edmonton and three ahead of Minnesota.
The victory began a critical five-game trip. Their only remaining home game is April 10 - also against Columbus, which remained sixth in the conference as it chases its first postseason berth.
"I don't believe in momentum, because I don't know what it is," St. Louis coach Andy Murray said. "I just know that every game and every sporting event stands on it's own. You've got to go out and establish your own credibility. For us to win two games against them is gratifying because they're a really good team."
The Blues aren't spending much time watching the standings.
"Every night it changes," Mason said. "We're trying to take care of business one (game) at a time. We were focused on today. We'll enjoy this one for a bit. Then we'll worry about our next game."
The Blues have won five in a row and earned points in seven of eight.
Rick Nash had a goal and an assist, and Fedor Tyutin added a goal for Columbus, which had taken points in its last five games and nine of the 10. Rookie goalie Steve Mason, no relation to his counterpart, made 22 saves.
"We're going to have to earn our way in," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Nobody's going to give us anything."
At Detroit, Ryan Suter broke a tie on a power play with 4:36 left, and Pekka Rinne made 33 saves to help Nashville win its third straight.
Steve Sullivan, Joel Ward and Jerred Smithson also scored for the Predators, seventh in the Western playoff race.
Henrik Zetterberg, Mikael Samuelsson and Johan Franzen scored for Detroit, which lost is second straight and third in four games. Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom each had two assists, and Chris Osgood stopped 22 shots.
At Chicago, Roberto Luongo made 26 saves to match his career high with seven shutouts, and Daniel Sedin had two goals and an assist for Vancouver.
Alex Burrows had a goal and two assists, Ryan Kesler also scored, and Henrik Sedin had three assists to help the Canucks end Chicago's three-game winning streak and move into a fourth-place tie with the Blackhawks in the West.
Vancouver also closed within a point of first-place Calgary in the Northwest Division. The Canucks are 7-2-0 in their last nine and 11-3-1 in their last 15.
Luongo also had seven shutouts for Florida in 2003-04.
At Edmonton, Alberta, Marian Gaborik had a goal and an assist, and Andrew Brunette and Martin Skoula also scored to help the 11th-place Wild move within three points of eighth-place St. Louis in the West.
Fernando Pisani and Ales Kotalik scored for Edmonton. The 10th-place Oilers have lost four of their last five to fall two points behind St. Louis.
At Philadelphia, Tim Thomas made 45 saves for his career-high 32nd win, Milan Lucic scored two goals, and Boston won its third straight.
Dennis Wideman and Mark Recchi also scored, David Krejci added three assists, and Zdeno Chara had two assists for the Eastern-leading Bruins.
Claude Giroux, Mike Richards, and Simon Gagne scored for Philadelphia.
At Anaheim, Calif., Bobby Ryan scored twice to help the Ducks remain in the thick of the fight for a playoff spot and send Colorado to its seventh consecutive defeat.
Corey Perry and Drew Miller also scored, and Jonas Hiller made 26 saves for Anaheim, allowing only John-Michael Liles' goal.
At Tampa, Fla., Brian Elliott made 20 saves for his first NHL shutout, and Dany Heatley, Ryan Shannon and Jason Spezza scored for Ottawa.
The Senators, 11th in the East, are 10-3-0 in their last 13 games, while Tampa Bay has lost three straight and 10 of its last 12.
|T.J. Oshie (13) ASST: Patrik Berglund (25)|
1 - 0 STL
|PPG - Fedor Tyutin (9) ASST: Jason Williams (26), Rick Nash (38)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Brad Boyes (30) ASST: NONE|
2 - 1 STL
|David Perron (14) ASST: Patrik Berglund (26), Andy McDonald (25)|
3 - 1 STL
|Patrik Berglund (21) ASST: T.J. Oshie (23), David Perron (35)|
4 - 1 STL
|Rick Nash (36) ASST: Kristian Huselius (35), Kris Russell (18)|
4 - 2 STL
|David Backes (26) ASST: NONE|
5 - 2 STL
|David Backes Hooking against R.J. Umberger|
|Mike Commodore Interference against Brad Winchester|
|Carlo Colaiacovo Tripping against Rick Nash|
|Raffi Torres Interference against Patrik Berglund|
|Jay McKee Roughing against Raffi Torres|
|Raffi Torres Roughing against David Perron|
|Antoine Vermette Slashing against Andy McDonald|
|Brad Winchester Interference against Manny Malhotra|
|Kris Russell Tripping against Keith Tkachuk|
|Jay McKee Holding against Rick Nash|
|Jason Williams Holding against Jay McClement|
|Michael Peca Tripping against David Perron|