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Backes Recounts Big Comeback in Boston

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

BOSTON - With TD Garden in Boston being the first stop on a four-game road trip, we thought it would be nice to reflect on one of the most memorable come-from-behind wins in Blues history.

It happened at TD Garden on Jan. 19, 2009. The Blues had a 2-1 lead in the third period against the Bruins, who led the Eastern Conference with a 33-8-4 record at the time.

Everything appeared to be falling apart though with about six minutes to go. With Blues forward Dan Hinote in the penalty box for elbowing, Boston’s Michael Ryder tied the game with 4:44 to go. Just 19 seconds later, P.J. Axlesson beat Blues goalie Chris Mason to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead.

And just 1:20 after that, Zdeno Chara gave the Bruins some added insurance with an even-strength goal with 3:05 to play.

The Bruins, once trailing, scored three goals in a span of 1:39 to take a 4-2 lead in the third period.

The Blues were down. But they were not out.

David Perron scored a power-play goal with 1:20 left on the clock to cut the lead to 4-3.

In the dying seconds, all hoped looked lost. The Blues went to retrieve the puck in their own zone with about 10 seconds to play, and as they came up the ice, Boston play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards said a Blues comeback “would take a miracle now.”

“We get one last chance, get to the blue line and (Keith Tkachuk) throws it to the net,” David Backes recalled. “I go to the net looking for some garbage.”

Tkachuk’s initial shot was stopped by Tim Thomas, but the rebound popped up right in front of Backes, who took a swing and put it in the net with less than a second remaining. The play was reviewed for a high-stick, too.

“In my very biased opinion, it was right at the cross bar,” Backes said. “I thank the baseball coaches for that.”

The goal would count, tying the contest at 4-4. T.J. Oshie and Brad Boyes scored in a shootout, and the rest is history.

After that 5-4 shootout win at TD Garden, the Blues would win 23 of their remaining 37 games to clinch their first playoff spot in five years.

“We were able to have a pretty happy celebration after that one,” Backes said.

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