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Blues 3, Blue Jackets 2 @NHLdotcom

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Christian Backman felt pretty good after scoring 3:49 into overtime Monday night to give the St. Louis Blues what appeared to be a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Then Backman saw the officials huddling.

Backman and the Blues had to wait for approximately 5 minutes to have their victory confirmed while the replay officials reviewed a shot by Columbus' Trevor Letowski that hit the goal post at the 3:20 mark of overtime. The red light went on after Letowski's shot, but play continued and the Blues went on a rush that led to Backman's goal.

The Blues actually left their bench before the replay review was concluded. It was ultimately determined that Letowski had not scored and Backman had indeed won the game.

"I don't know if I've ever scored a goal that didn't count, but here I almost had two," said Backman, who had a goal waived off earlier in the game because of illegal contact with Blue Jackets goalie Pascal Leclaire. "At first, I thought it must be a goal. Then I figured they were looking at their chance."

They were. Columbus coach Gerard Gallant did not feel that Letowski had scored, but he liked his chances the longer the review went.

"Once it took that long, I thought it might be a goal," said Gallant, whose team lost for the first time in 15 overtime games. "I thought it might be kind of funny where one team celebrates and then they're going to turn it over and we're going to win the hockey game."

The Blues' winner was controversial as well. Keith Tkachuk broke in on the left side and fired a shot at Leclaire. Jay McClement crashed into Leclaire, leaving an opening for Backman to put the rebound into the open net.

"I was just going in on a rush," Backman said. "It was a good shot (by Tkachuk), because the goalie couldn't control it. I ended up with the rebound in front of me. That's kind of what you are looking for."

McClement assisted on the play and also helped set up the Blues' two goals in regulation. He has 12 points in eight games and the Blues are 8-1-3 in their last 12.

Scott Young and Mike Glumac also scored, and Patrick Lalime made 14 saves in relief of injured starter Curtis Sanford for his first win since Dec. 1.

Lalime said he was not sure what happened on Letowski's near miss.

"It happened quick," Lalime said. "The puck was right in front and all I heard was 'ping.' I saw it come back. It looked like it his the post."

Sanford left the game at 12:09 of the second period after a collision with Nikolai Zherdev. Sanford strained his left knee and did not return.

Rick Nash and Jason Chimera scored for Columbus, which had its two-game winning streak snapped. The Blue Jackets are 12-1-2 in overtime.

"We're a pretty good overtime team and we had a great chance," Gallant said. "It was a point on the road. We would have liked to have had two. But St. Louis battled hard, too."

Jaroslav Balastik took two penalties midway through the second period and both led to Blues' power-play goals.

With Balastik off for interference, the Blues won a faceoff in the Columbus end and Dean McAmmond got the puck in the right circle. He passed to Young at the left point, and Young beat Leclaire with a wrist shot at the 10:23 mark to tie it at 1.

Balastik was called for holding a few minutes later, and Glumac took advantage when he got control of a loose puck in the slot and blasted it by Leclaire with 7:07 left in the period.

But Chimera tied it with 2:39 left in the period when he tapped home Letowski's centering pass.

Columbus took a 1-0 lead at 7:51 of the first period when Nash converted a give-and-go pass from Sergei Fedorov.

Notes: The Blues have killed off 21 straight power plays in the last five games. ... Chimera's goal was his 14th, tying a his career high and extending his scoring streak to four games. ... The Blues' last seven home games have gone to overtime.

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