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New York at St. Louis

Blues 4-0 for first time after beating slumping Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- David Backes appears to have found his long-lost scoring touch.

The St. Louis center netted two goals, and the unbeaten Blues beat the slumping New York Rangers 5-3 on Saturday night.

The Blues, who haven't trailed at all this season, are 4-0 for the first time in franchise history.

Derek Roy, Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko added goals for St. Louis, which has outscored opponents 19-7. Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves to improve to 4-0.

Backes, who scored just six goals last season in the lockout-shortened campaign, already has four this season. He didn't notch his fourth last season until the Blues' 35th game.

"It's clicking right now, but it's only four games," he said. "Four good games, but it's only getting tougher from here now."

Backes, with two multipoint games, has helped kick-start an offense that has recorded 34 shots in each of its last three games.

"We're 4-0 and all that means is we've got 78 games to go," Backes said.

Ryan Callahan scored twice for the Rangers (1-4), and Brad Richards added his team-leading fourth goal. New York, which has four games left on a season-opening, nine-game trip, has lost three in a row by a combined score of 20-5.

St. Louis scored four times on its first 17 shots against backup goalie Martin Biron, who was making his first start of the season. Biron was pulled after the second period in favor of regular netminder Henrik Lundqvist.

Biron stopped 13 of 17 shots. Lundqvist allowed one goal on 17 shots.

The Blues won their first three games in 1969 and 1993, but had never won four in a row to start a season in their 47-year history.

The quick start has impressed St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock, although he wasn't entirely pleased with his club's effort on Saturday.

"Being 4-0 is great, but this was not our game," he said. "I'm not complaining. The way we gathered it in was great. But we need to involve more players."

Backes put St. Louis ahead 2-1 by beating Biron with a wrist shot at 5:11 of the second period. He pushed the lead to 4-2 later in the frame off a pass from T.J. Oshie.

Steen added three assists, giving him a team-leading eight points -- including four goals.

"Right now, we're working hard and getting some lucky bounces," Steen said. "We've been trying to do the simple things and feed off one another."

The line of Backes, Steen and Oshie has accounted for 18 points in four games.

"It's three guys that are willing to do whatever is needed every single night," Backes said.

New York tied it 1-1 on Callahan's first of the season, but trailed the rest of the way after Backes scored his first of the night. The Rangers' goal came during a 5-on-3 power play with 5.8 seconds left in the first period.

Callahan closed the gap to 4-3 with a power-play goal at 2:54 of the third.

The Rangers, who had lost their previous two games by a 15-2 margin, saw some improvement in their latest defeat.

"It was a night-and-day difference from the last two games," Richards said. "But we wanted a better result. It's a very simple game. It's just about getting back to the basics."

New York coach Alain Vigneault believes his team is heading in the right direction. The Rangers played their fourth game in six nights.

"I thought for two periods we played well," he said. "Our execution was better. You could tell the effort was there, the willingness was there. But the legs were having a tough time."

Notes

St. Louis is 27-6-5 against the Eastern Conference since the start of the 2010-11 season. ... Rangers LW Rick Nash missed his second consecutive game because of a head injury sustained Tuesday on a hit by San Jose's Brad Stuart. Stuart was suspended three games by the NHL. ... Lundqvist has beaten every NHL team except St. Louis. ... The Blues allowed their first third-period goal of the season. ... St. Louis is starting the season with five straight home games for the second time in team history.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoreboard
NY Rangers (1-4-0)1113
St. Louis  (4-0-0) «1315
Three Stars
D. Backes
STL


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
A. Steen
STL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 3
T. Oshie
STL


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:38 - Alexander Steen (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Oshie, Backes
19:54Power Play - Ryan Callahan (1), Backhand Shot. Assist: Brassard, Stepan
2ND PERIOD
05:11 - David Backes (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Steen
12:44Power Play - Derek Roy (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Shattenkirk, Steen
16:56 - Brad Richards (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Brassard
18:27 - David Backes (4), Tip-In. Assist: Oshie, Steen
3RD PERIOD
02:54Power Play - Ryan Callahan (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Richards, Stepan
10:42Power Play - Vladimir Tarasenko (3), Snap Shot. Assist: Shattenkirk, Roy
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
06:55Morrow, 2 min, Interference
14:01Dorsett, 2 min, Boarding
17:30Falk, 2 min, Interference
17:55Backes, 2 min, Roughing
17:55Oshie, 2 min, Boarding
17:55Boyle, 2 min, Roughing
19:00Jackman, 2 min, Charging
2ND PERIOD
04:43Dorsett, 2 min, Holding
04:43Lapierre, 2 min, Too Many Men on the Ice(bench)
07:30Oshie, 2 min, High sticking
12:08Falk, 2 min, Interference
3RD PERIOD
01:51Roy, 2 min, Holding
04:46Brassard, 2 min, Tripping
10:36Dorsett, 2 min, High sticking
19:40Stralman, 2 min, Interference
Shots On Goal
 123T
NYR1113529
STL1251734
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Martin Biron39:57134
Jaroslav Halak59:59263
Game Information
Attendance - 18130
Referees - Mike Hasenfratz, Frederick L'Ecuyer
Linesmen - Jay Sharrers, Tony Sericolo
 
Other Games
Pitt 5 Final
TB 4
Bos 3 Final
Colu 1
Edm 5 Final
OT
Tor 6
Colo 5 Final
Wash 1
Phi 2 Final
Det 5
Dal 1 Final
Min 5
Buf 1 Final
Chi 2
NYI 2 Final
Nash 3
Mon 4 Final
Van 1
Ott 2 Final
SJ 3