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Jackets Lose to Blues, 4-2

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- St. Louis rookie David Backes had his first two-goal game in the NHL, leading the Blues past the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 on Wednesday night.

Backes, playing in his 25th game, notched his third and fourth goals -- three have come in the last three contests.

Bill Guerin scored a goal, Dallas Drake added an empty-netter and Manny Legace stopped 20 shots. Lee Stempniak had two assists for the Blues, who improved to 11-11-6 on the road.

Rick Nash and Alexander Svitov had goals for Columbus, which has dropped five of six. Nash scored only his second goal in 17 games.

The arena was less than half full because of 6 inches of snow, high winds and low temperatures that hit Columbus.

Backes provided the go-ahead goal at the midpoint of the final period. Jay McClement streaked along the left boards with the puck before firing a backdoor, tape-to-tape pass that only required Backes to put his stick on the ice to score.

Columbus' Dan Fritsche helped give the Blue Jackets an early 1-0 lead. He kept the puck in the offensive zone with a couple of effort plays, eventually controlling the puck and slipping a pass to David Vyborny. Vyborny fed Nash who was alone on the wing at the goal line. He skated in on Legace, stopped abruptly in the slot, then reached back to slide the puck into the left corner for his 15th.

The Blues tied it with just over a minute left in the opening period when Petr Cajanek took a pass from Doug Weight and carried the puck straight to the net from the right dot. He slid a pass to Guerin, who scored into an empty net.

Guerin, coming off a three-goal game in a 6-5 loss to San Jose on Tuesday night, has five goals and two assists in four games.

Columbus goalie Pascal Leclaire made a strong stop on Radek Dvorak's shot off a pass from Jamal Mayers but then surrendered a soft goal not long after.

Backes made it 2-1 at 13:07, firing a shot that beat Leclaire between the pads.

Svitov answered for Columbus 4 1/2 minutes later, carrying the puck from his blue line to the top of the circles and shooting the puck past Legace for his seventh goal.

Columbus nearly broke the tie at 7:07 of the third. Svitov's wrist shot from the right wing appeared to handcuff Legace, who fell backward into the net with the puck rolling over the goal line underneath him. But after a review, the referees ruled it was not a goal.

Game notes
Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock is seven games shy of 800 in his career. ... St. Louis is 4-7-3 in the first game of back-to-backs but 7-6-1 in the second.

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