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Blues throttle Ducks with quick-strike attack

by Brian Hunter
The Anaheim Ducks found themselves under siege practically from the opening faceoff Monday afternoon, and the St. Louis Blues needed just a six-second span of game action to take complete control.

David Backes and Andy McDonald set a new team record by scoring in rapid-fire succession against Jonas Hiller and the Blues outshot the Ducks by a final margin of 53-14 in a 5-1 win at Scottrade Center.

Matt D'Agostini scored twice and Brandon Crombeen had a shorthanded goal for St. Louis, which won its second straight to begin the season. Jaroslav Halak finished with 13 saves.

"They've had trouble scoring goals, so it was good for us to get off to a quick start, get on them quickly and put a couple of goals in," said Brad Boyes, who got the second assist on Backes' goal. "The quick start was something we wanted to do."

A power-play goal by Saku Koivu was the lone bright spot in another troubling performance by Anaheim, which has lost all three of its games by a combined 13-2 margin. Koivu has both of the Ducks goals, while the defense has yielded 145 shots to its opponents, an average of 46.3 per contest.

"Obviously, the sun is going to come up tomorrow -- we hope," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "What you have to do is take a self-analysis of what we can do better. There's lots of areas for us to improve in as a team."

The Blues led 2-0 less than four minutes in thanks to Backes and McDonald, who broke the previous franchise mark of two goals in seven seconds set by Don McKenney and Frank St. Marseille on Jan. 24, 1968, against the Minnesota North Stars.

Backes capitalized on an Anaheim turnover and a David Perron centering pass at 3:53 and the Blues came storming up ice on the ensuing faceoff. T.J. Oshie fed McDonald near the left circle and his wrister beat Hiller.

"To be rewarded that early, it really helps you to stick to your game plan and I thought we did a good job throughout the game to do that," Blues defenseman Barret Jackman said.

Perron was in the penalty box for holding the stick when Crombeen made it 3-0 with 5:10 elapsed in the second. With the Ducks still on the power play, Koivu got them on the board at 6:08 with an unassisted goal, but D'Agostini ended Hiller's afternoon by scoring with 4:09 left in the period.

Curtis McElhinney relieved and the Blues continued to pepper the Ducks with shots. McElhinney stopped 18 of them, allowing only D'Agostini's second of the game, a power-play goal with 2:42 left in the third.

"It was full engagement from start to finish," St. Louis coach Davis Payne said. "We've been on the other end of that."

Material from wire services was used in this report. 

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