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Johnson scores first NHL goal, a game-winner to help Blues rally past

NHL.com @NHL

LOS ANGELES - Erik Johnson scored his first NHL goal on a power play with 7:17 left in the third period to give St. Louis the lead for good, and the Blues beat Los Angeles 5-3 Saturday night to spoil the Kings' home opener.

Jamal Mayers had two goals, one of them into an empty net with 47 seconds left. Keith Tkachuk and David Backes also scored for the Blues, who trailed 3-1 after two periods and outshot Los Angeles 15-4 in the third.

St. Louis' Manny Legace allowed two goals on 16 shots, and was replaced by Hannu Toivonen at 12:35 of the second period with a 2-1 deficit after tweaking his right knee. Toivonen faced just eight shots, giving up a power-play goal by Dustin Brown with 64 seconds left in the second period and one second remaining on a tripping penalty against Matt Walker.

However, Mayers triggered St. Louis' comeback with a slap shot from the top of the right circle that beat rookie Jonathan Bernier to the stick side at 8:42 of the second period. Tkachuk narrowed the gap to 3-2 at 2:38 of the third, just six seconds after the Kings killed off a hooking penalty against Brad Stuart.

Backes got the equalizer, redirecting a weak slap shot by Jay McClement past Bernier's right skate. Johnson, the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, connected on a one-timer that deflected off Kings captain Rob Blake and past Bernier's stick while defenceman Jaroslav Modry was serving a slashing penalty. Paul Kariya helped set up the goal by taking the puck away from Kings centre Michal Handzus in the right corner.

Brown had two goals and an assist for the Kings, and Anze Kopitar had three assists.

Blues coach Andy Murray, who guided the Kings for five-plus seasons and holds the franchise record for victories, returned to Staples Center for the second time since taking the Blues job last December and improved his record against his former team to 4-0.

There was an added element to this homecoming as Murray's son, Brady, played his second game for the Kings. The 23-year-old left wing was drafted by the Kings in June 2003, following his dad's fourth season as their coach. It was only the fourth time in NHL history that a player competed in a regular-season game against a team his father was coaching.

Brown opened the scoring for the Kings at 14:20 of the first period, less than five minutes after a power-play goal by teammate Kyle Calder was immediately waved off by referee Dennis LaRue because of a high stick. Michael Cammalleri made it 2-0 at 2:04 of the second with his fourth goal in three games.

Notes: Ruth Murray made the trip from the family home in Fairbault, Minn., to watch her son play against his father's team. ... The other three father-son combinations on opposing teams were Bill and Gord Dineen (Feb. 9, 1993), Bob and Mark Johnson (Oct. 21, 1982) and Rich and Landon Wilson (Feb. 26, 2002). ... The Kings, who split their first two games of the season with the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks in London, England, are 21-11 with eight ties in their 40 home openers. ... Kings LW Ladislav Nagy played in his 400th NHL game and assisted on Brown's second goal of the game. ... St. Louis was down to six healthy defenseman because of injuries to Jay McKee (broken right foot) and Eric Brewer (sore right shoulder).

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