Columbus at St. Louis

Power-play goal in overtime keeps Blues' playoff hopes alive

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues stayed in the playoff picture for at least another day. Erik Johnson's power-play goal in overtime saw to that.

"It's do or die for us every game," the defenseman said after scoring his 10th of the season with 1:01 to go for a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night. "We're not out of it yet.

Western Conference
SeedTeamGPPTSROW
1p-Chicago487730
2y-Anaheim486624
3y-Vancouver485921
4x-St. Louis486024
5x-Los Angeles485925
6x-San Jose485717
7x-Detroit485622
8x-Minnesota485522
Eliminated
9o-Columbus485519
10o-Phoenix485117
11o-Dallas484820
12o-Edmonton484517
13o-Calgary484219
14o-Nashville484114
15o-Colorado483914
Complete Playoff Race

"We're going to keep fighting every game, win every game we can."

Andy McDonald had a goal and an assist, David Perron set up both goals and Chris Mason made 27 saves for St. Louis, which has won a season-high five straight at home. The Blues are four points behind Colorado with three games to go for the final Western Conference playoff spot and need to finish ahead of the Avalanche, who swept them in the regular season.

They're also two points behind Calgary, which has three games to go.

"There's not a lot of room for error here," McDonald said. "We've played extremely well, I think, the last couple months and we've got to keep going. Obviously, we need some help."

Colorado has four games to go and can knock out the Blues on Tuesday night with a victory at Vancouver.

"You want to kind of have your fate in your own hands," Johnson said. "But we're in this position and we'll have to see what other teams do."

Derick Brassard scored an early power-play goal and Mathieu Garon made 32 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have lost three straight and were shorthanded. Leading scorer Rick Nash (upper body) was scratched after participating in the morning skate and center Andy Murray was sidelined by a blow to the head when Keith Tkachuk elbowed him into the boards late in the first period.

Tkachuk drew a double minor on the play and he was sidelined after two periods with a lower-body injury. Coach Claude Noel said Murray had a head injury and was surprised Tkachuk wasn't penalized further.

"I thought we played with a tremendous amount of courage, as short as we were," Noel said.

A holding call on Marc Methot with 1:43 to go in overtime opened the door for the Blues, and Johnson scored his 10th of the season on a slap shot from the point.

Garon said he was screened by two players on the game-winner.

"I knew he went to my blocker side, but I couldn't see it," Garon said. "I couldn't find the puck at all."

St. Louis avoided elimination by taking the game to overtime. The Blues have been the NHL's worst at home most of the season with the late-season surge raising their record to 17-18-5.

McDonald scored his 23rd goal and second in three games on a break off a Perron feed to tie it midway through the second period.

The Blues hardly appeared in desperation mode in the first period, going nearly 13 minutes before finally registering a shot. Columbus outshot St. Louis 11-4 and took the lead on Brassard's power-play deflection at 3:10.

"Plenty of concern based on the way the game was going," Blues coach Davis Payne said. "We had to make sure we understood just exactly how hard a fight it was going to take."

Notes

  • Tkachuk played in his 1,200th game.
  • Blues F Patrik Berglund (upper body) also missed the third.
  • Paid attendance of 17,601 was about 1,500 shy of capacity, ending a string of 15 straight sellouts for the Blues.
Copyright 2015 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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Erik Johnson rejoices moments after he converts the Blues' game-winning goal in overtime.  (AP)
Erik Johnson rejoices moments after he converts the Blues' game-winning goal in overtime. (AP)
Scoreboard
Columbus (32-34-14)10001
St. Louis  (39-31-9) «01012
Three Stars
C. Mason
STL


Saves: 27
Save Pct.: .964
M. Garon
CLB


Saves: 32
Save Pct.: .941
A. McDonald
STL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:10Power Play - Derick Brassard (9), Tip-In. Assist: Voracek, Dorsett
2ND PERIOD
10:39Andy McDonald (23), Snap Shot. Assist: Perron, Colaiacovo
3RD PERIOD
None
OT
03:59Power Play - Erik Johnson (10), Slap Shot. Assist: McDonald, Perron
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:38Oshie, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
11:29Methot, 2 min, Broken Stick
13:24Boyes, 2 min, Tripping
16:42Tkachuk, 2 min, Boarding
16:42Blunden, 2 min, Roughing
16:42Tkachuk, 2 min, Roughing
19:52Commodore, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
03:26Blunden, 2 min, High-Sticking
05:23Stralman, 2 min, Cross-Checking
11:58Kariya, 2 min, Tripping
3RD PERIOD
53.0Perron, 2 min, Hooking
03:25Tyutin, 2 min, Holding
07:01Perron, 2 min, Slashing
OT
03:17Methot, 2 min, Holding
Shots On Goal
 123T
Columbus118625
St. Louis416929
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Mathieu Garon 63:51322
Chris Mason 63:37271
Game Information
Attendance - 17601
Referees - Frances Charron, Dan O'Halloran
Linesmen - Shane Heyer, Thor Nelson
 
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Bos 2 Final
OT
Wash 3
Min 1 Final
Edm 4