Backes steers Blues past Jets


With Vladimir Tarasenko and T.J. Oshie both out of the St. Louis Blues lineup, captain David Backes stepped up to fill the void.

Backes scored twice in the third period, giving him 23 goals on the season, and the Blues skated to a 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night.

One of Backes’ goals never even reached the net. He was awarded a goal with 1:11 left when he broke in on the Jets empty goal and was pulled down by Jacob Trouba.

“That doesn’t happen a whole lot,” Backes said. “Sometimes when things aren’t going perfect for you, you take them any way you can get them. Hopefully, it’s the start of a little streak here.”

Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice wasn’t too pleased that it happened Monday.

“I don’t think that game should have gone to 3-1,” Maurice said. “I don’t think that’s an automatic goal. I don’t think it’s a slash. He goes down, maybe they locked feet. But it’s not unimpeded progress. That game should be still 2-1 in my mind.

“But 2-1 is still a deficit for us.”

Ryan Miller made 16 saves for St. Louis, which is 7-0-1 since he was acquired by trade from Buffalo. The Blues have won three straight and eight of nine.

Western Conference-leading St. Louis has an NHL-best 101 points. It is the sixth time in franchise history that the Blues have reached 100 points.

Backes has 23 goals this season. Brendan Morrow added a goal, and Jay Bouwmeester had two assists in the Blues’ win.

Eric O’Dell had the lone goal for Winnipeg, and Al Montoya made 23 saves.

Tarasenko is expected to miss six weeks because of a hand injury sustained Saturday against Nashville. Oshie, whose first child was born earlier Monday, should be back for Wednesday’s game at Chicago.

Backes broke a 1-1 tie with a power-play goal at 13:09 of the third period when he swatted in a rebound of Ian Cole’s shot.

Bruins 4, Wild 1

In Boston, Jarome Iginla scored two goals and Tuukka Rask stopped 33 shots as the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins extended their winning streak to nine games with a win over Minnesota.

Boston increased its conference lead to five points over idle second-place Pittsburgh by posting its longest winning streak since a 10-game run in November 2011.

Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith also scored for the Bruins, who beat the Wild at home for the first time after losing the first six meetings.

Lightning 4, Canucks 3

In Tampa, Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat both had a goal and an assist to lead the Lightning past Vancouver.

Valtteri Filppula and Tom Pyatt also scored for Tampa Bay, which moved into a second-place tie with Montreal — with one game in hand — in the Atlantic Division.

Ben Bishop extended his single-season team record with his 32nd win.

Alexandre Burrows scored two goals, and Jannik Hansen added a short-handed tally for the Canucks.

Coyotes 4, Kings 3

In Los Angeles, Keith Yandle scored the tying goal midway through the third period and Jeff Halpern netted the winner with 3:05 left, leading Phoenix past the Kings.

Rob Klinkhammer and Mikkel Boedker scored 63 seconds apart in the first period for the Coyotes, who handed Los Angeles its third straight loss and took over sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference.