COLUMBUS, Ohio - Patrik Berglund had a goal and two assists and the St. Louis Blues moved a step closer to a playoff spot with a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.
T.J. Oshie and David Perron each had a goal and an assist, Brad Boyes and David Backes also scored, and Chris Mason gave up two shaky goals but stopped the other 26 shots he faced. The Blues have won five in a row and earned points in seven of eight.
Rick Nash had a goal and an assist, and Fedor Tyutin added a goal for Columbus, which had taken points in its last five games and nine of the 10. Rookie goalie Steve Mason, no relation to his counterpart, made 22 saves.
The game pitted two of the hottest teams in the NHL - the Blue Jackets were 7-1-2 over their last 10 games, the Blues 7-2-1 - in a game that both desperately needed to win. Columbus is sixth in the West with 86 points, two points ahead of Nashville and three in front of St. Louis. Edmonton, which began the day in a virtual tie with the Blues, for the last of the eight playoff spots, faced Minnesota later Sunday.
There was some bad blood left over from the Blues' 4-3 shootout victory Saturday night in St. Louis. Oshie had come out of the penalty box and made a 120-foot bee line for Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash in the corner. He levelled Nash, one of the top 10 scorers in the NHL, and then fought with Columbus defenceman Kris Russell.
But there were lingering hard feelings for the hit, which was not penalized.
During the national anthem, someone yelled, "Hey, Oshie! Keep your head up!"
After facing a smattering of boos on his first shift, Oshie turned up the volume on the boos when he scored early. He grabbed a loose puck in the neutral zone, avoided sliding defenceman Jan Hejda, then skated in on Steve Mason. Mason blocked Oshie's first shot, but the rookie centre was able to net the rebound for his 13th goal.
Columbus evened it on a gift goal.
The Blue Jackets weathered almost a minute of 3-on-5. Soon after that ended, Tyutin was at the right point when he took a drop pass from Jason Williams. Tyutin's shot appeared to lazily bounce toward the goal, somehow sliding between Chris Mason's leg pads.
The Blue Jackets then returned the favour.
Late in a St. Louis power play, Steve Mason came behind the cage to stop the puck with his catcher. He then spun and tried to clear the puck, instead throwing the puck directly to the tape of Boyes in the slot. He had an empty net for his 30th of the year.
Perron added some insurance when he skated in unimpeded from the right wing, faked defenseman Mike Commodore in the slot and then lifted a backhander over Steve Mason's right shoulder to make it 3-1 midway through the third period.
The teams scored three sloppy, soft goals in a span of 2:22.
Berglund skated behind the goal cage, pivoted and fired a forehand that slipped inside the near post against Steve Mason. After Nash's 40-foot wrister from the short boards got past Chris Mason. Tyutin then lost the puck on a giveaway and Backes buried the breakaway.
Much of the crowd of 17,095 was long gone by then.
Notes: The Blues began a five-game road trip. Only one of their six remaining games is at home - Columbus on April 10. ... The Blue Jackets had a two-game home win streak end. They are 24-12-2 at Nationwide Arena. ... Perron extended his points streak to four games (2-4-6), as did Berglund (3-3-6).