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Columbus at St. Louis

Blue Jackets take advantage of wild second period to beat Blues

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Columbus coach Gerald Gallant felt satisfied, Rostislav Klesla considered himself lucky, and Rick Nash was relieved.

All that followed a rare Blue Jackets victory.

Klesla scored his first two goals of the season for Columbus during a wild second period that featured six goals, five power-play opportunities and some ragged play from Blues goaltender Manny Legace. It all worked out for the Blue Jackets, who won 4-2 over St. Louis on Thursday night.

"We got some breaks, there's no doubt about that," Gallant said. "But you make breaks by working hard and having a good team game. We came out and played our best team game of the year."

Columbus (5-7-1) struggled in its first five road games this season, going 1-4 and giving up 19 goals.

Pascal Leclaire stopped 24 shots and the Blue Jackets had their best offensive flurry of the season.

They scored three unanswered goals in just over five minutes with Klesla starting and ending the barrage with two somewhat fortunate goals. He netted his first after he left the penalty box, taking a pass from Dan Fritsche and scoring a breakaway goal that tied it at 2. His second goal came on a lazy shot that slowly slid into the left side of the net past Legace.

"I didn't even see it go in," he said. "They said nobody tipped it, so it was pretty lucky. We got the two-goal lead and that was huge."

The Blue Jackets entered the game with only 27 goals through their first 12 games. Legace's poor play helped that total rise.

Aside from failing to stop Klesla's two shots, Legace allowed a short-handed goal to Fritsche and escaped further damage on his biggest gaffe of the game. He tried to send the puck around the boards behind his own net but it stayed in the corner. He had to scramble back to the crease to stop two point-blank Columbus shots.

Legace received mock cheers when he made an easy save with 3:46 left in the period. He was replaced Curtis Sanford at the start of the third.

"I just had a horrible second period," said Legace, who faced 21 shots. "I let the guys down."

Bill Guerin gave St. Louis (4-7-3) a 1-0 lead at 1:18 of the second, but Nash tied it just under two minutes later with his first goal in over a month. His power-play tally came on his third shot in about 15 seconds during the shift and ended a nine-game drought. He hadn't scored since Oct. 9 against Phoenix.

Keith Tkachuk restored the Blues' advantage at 8:12 before Columbus went on its run with three goals in a span of 5:09. Despite getting hit in the face with a high stick from Klesla, Tkachuk pushed the puck past Leclaire and gave St. Louis a chance to add to it as Klesla went to the penalty box. After the Blues failed to capitalize, the Blue Jackets took over from there.

Notes

  • Klesla hadn't scored in 10 games.
  • Blues D Barret Jackman (knee) played for the first time in 11 games and earned an assist on Tkachuk's goal.
  • St. Louis scratched D Dennis Wideman (hand) for the second consecutive game. C Dallas Drake (lower body) missed his first game.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Anson Carter and Lee Stempniak chase the puck in the  third, but the game was decided in the second.  (AP)
Anson Carter and Lee Stempniak chase the puck in the third, but the game was decided in the second. (AP)

Scoreboard
Columbus  (5-7-1) «0404
St. Louis (4-7-3)0202
Three Stars
R. Klesla
CLB


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
B. Salvador
STL


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
D. Fritsche
CLB


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
01:18Power Play - Bill Guerin (8), Wrist Shot - Assists: Radek Dvorak, Martin Rucinsky
04:04Power Play - Rick Nash (4), Backhand Shot - Assists: David Vyborny, Sergei Fedorov
08:12Keith Tkachuk (4), Tip-In - Assists: Barret Jackman, Christian Backman
10:19Rostislav Klesla, Wrist Shot - Assist: Dan Fritsche
12:30Short - Dan Fritsche, Slap Shot - Assist: Sergei Fedorov
15:28Rostislav Klesla, Wrist Shot - Assists: Dan Fritsche, Jason Chimera
3RD PERIOD
None
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
10:37Svitov: Interference - 2 min.
2ND PERIOD
00:43Vyborny: Hooking - 2 min.
03:40Tkachuk: Delay of Game - 2 min.
08:12Klesla: High sticking - 2 min.
11:11Shelley: Slashing - 2 min.
17:07Cajanek: Hooking - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
01:22Backman: Holding - 2 min.
03:49Rivers: Delay of Game - 2 min.
07:47Goertzen: Fighting - 5 min.
07:47Salvador: Fighting - 5 min.
08:04Shelley: Fighting - 5 min.
08:04Walker: Fighting - 5 min.
16:40Tkachuk: Slashing - 2 min.
16:40Tkachuk: Roughing - 2 min.
16:40Klesla: Roughing - 2 min.
18:44Modin: Hooking - 2 min.
20:00Vyborny: Hooking - 2 min.
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
Columbus714627
St. Louis911626
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Pascal Leclaire60:00242
Manny Legace40:00174
Curtis Sanford18:4280
GAME INFORMATION
Attendance - 9631
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Paul Devorski, Greg Kimmerly
Line Judges - Ryan Galloway, Shane Heyer
 
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