The St. Louis Blues continue to get their revenge on the Vancouver Canucks for being swept in the opening round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
David Backes scored twice and Ty Conklin made 29 saves as the Blues began their four-game road trip on a winning note with a 3-1 victory against the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place on Sunday night.
St. Louis has also won the first two games of its four-game season series against the Canucks, who swept the Blues right out of the opening round of the Western Conference quarterfinal last April. St. Louis earned a 6-1 win against Vancouver at the Scottrade Center on Nov. 10.
''There s obviously a little vendetta,'' Backes said. ''Maybe we should pretend every team kicked our dog before the game. I'm an animal advocate by the way, but it seems like when teams show us up we come back the next time and play a good hard game and get the best of them.''
Backes opened the scoring when he redirected Paul Kariya's shot past Roberto Luongo (23 saves) just 2:59 into the game, but the Canucks tied it when Shane O'Brien ended a 165-game scoring drought with 2:45 left in the first period when his shot found its way through Conklin's pads.
''To say I wasn't thinking about it some days would be a lie,'' O'Brien said about his drought. ''It was great to get it, but at the same time we play for the two points and unfortunately we came up a little short tonight.''
But Backes put the Blues back in front with a great individual effort at 11:48 of the second period, as he made a nifty move around defenseman Kevin Bieksa off the left wing, cut hard to the net and tucked the puck past Luongo for his ninth goal of the season.
''It's the old saying, go to the net,'' Backes said. ''The first one is just a shot that ends up right in front of me and the high school baseball skills kick in there, and the second one is just try to use my big body and get around the corner and then use a little reach and try to get around Luongo.''
Keith Tkachuk gave St. Louis a 3-1 lead just 1:27 later with his eighth goal of the season as the Blues won for the second time in five games and moved out of the Western Conference basement.
"Three tough buildings to play in," Conklin said of the road trip that continues on Monday and Edmonton and Calgary on Wednesday. "Three teams that are ahead of us, three teams that we're chasing. This is a good start."
Luongo made 23 saves for the Canucks, who defeated the Washington Capitals on Friday and were looking to move into a playoff position in the Western Conference for the first time all season.
''It's frustrating that we get a big win the other night and we can't back it up with another great game,'' Luongo said. ''We could talk about it until we're blue in the face in the locker room before the game, but talking about it and going out on the ice and executing are two different things.''
Conklin came up big in the first period, as he denied Tanner Glass, Ryan Kesler and Mikael Samuelsson from close range before a gorgeous, sliding stop on Bieksa.
"We pushed back in the second period," Conklin said. "That first period, they probably out-chanced us a little bit and out-played us. We did a good job of blocking shots. Not too many difficult chances. Everybody pitched in."
Canucks forward Alex Burrows had a goal waved off five minutes into the third period after replays concluded he redirected Henrik Sedin's feed with a kicking motion. The negated tally ended Sedin's point streak at nine games. He had 16 points during that span.
''I don't agree with the decision,'' Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. ''I looked at the replay and yes, Alex does turn his foot, it goes off his skate and then there is a forward motion. But not on the initial deflection.''
Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.