Columbus at St. Louis

Blue Jackets 4, Blues 3


ST. LOUIS -- In a battle to escape the NHL basement, the Columbus Blue Jackets discovered the offense they'd been missing.

Aaron Johnson's first goal of the season snapped a third-period tie and the Blue Jackets ended a seven-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.

"It's big, these are teams we have to jump on," Johnson said. "If we keep playing hard against teams like this eventually we're going to be able to play hard against teams like Colorado and get wins in those situations, too."

Manny Malhotra had a goal and two assists, Luke Richardson and Martin Brule also scored, and Jody Shelley had two assists for the Blue Jackets, who tied their season best for goals and leapfrogged the Blues despite getting outshot 34-19.

The Blue Jackets, who scored only nine goals during their losing streak and entered the game with a league-worst 40 goals, have 12 points and lead the Blues by one point. Columbus benefited from Johnson's third career goal in 31 games and Richardson's 33rd in 18 NHL seasons.

"It's huge for those guys to step up," coach Gerard Gallant said. "As we all know we're last in the National Hockey League, so to come in here and get a win with other people chipping in is big for our club."

Barret Jackman scored his first two goals of the season for the Blues, who have lost three in a row while surrendering 15 goals. The Blues blew a one-goal, third-period lead for the second straight night, following a 5-3 loss at Minnesota on Friday, and have lost a franchise-record seven straight games at home.

"It's all for nothing, it doesn't matter," Jackman said. "I'd rather have no goals and not lose the game."

In the last three games, the Blues have been outscored 8-0 in the third period.

"I don't know what it is," coach Mike Kitchen said. "We sure have to improve in that area because we've blown a lot of leads."

The Blue Jackets scored in the opening minute of the first and third periods and matched their season best for goals set Oct. 21 against the Sharks. They won for only the second time on the road in 12 games, and won after trailing following one period for the first time in nine tries all season.

They also rebounded from a 5-0 loss at home to the Avalanche on Friday.

"It's big for our team," Gallant said. "We're a lot like St. Louis. We're struggling."

Johnson, a defenseman playing his second game of the season after being called up earlier in the week, scored on a power play at 9:56 of the third. Johnson pinched in from the left point and tapped a rebound past Curtis Sanford.

Jackman's second goal of the game, a wrist shot off a faceoff, put the Blues ahead 3-2 in the final minute of the second period.

Brule's second goal of the season tied it at 28 seconds of the third.

The Blue Jackets scored on the first shot of the game in the opening minute, a wrister from Malhotra from the high slot, but didn't test Sanford again for another 15 minutes.

St. Louis tied it on Jackman's first goal of the season, a wrist shot through traffic at 7:16, and took the lead on Mike Sillinger's power-play goal at 14:34.

Richardson's first goal since Feb. 27, 2004, a one-timer in front of the net off Malhotra's setup, tied it at 2 at 13:52 of the second.


The Blue Jackets are 2-10 on the road and the other victory was 3-2 Oct. 9 at Chicago. ... Blues D Bryce Salvador was out of the lineup after taking a shot off a knee on Friday. ... Blue Jackets G Marc Denis missed his third game with a groin injury.

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Columbus  (6-18-0) «1124
St. Louis (4-15-3)2103
Three Stars
M. Malhotra

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
B. Jackman

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
A. Johnson

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
00:37Manny Malhotra (2), Slap Shot - Assists: David Vyborny and Radoslav Suchy
07:16Barret Jackman, Wrist Shot - Assist: Dallas Drake
14:34Power Play - Mike Sillinger (6), Slap Shot - Assist: Petr Cajanek
13:52Luke Richardson, Snap Shot - Assists: Manny Malhotra and Jody Shelley
19:39Barret Jackman, Slap Shot - Assists: Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight
00:28Gilbert Brule (2), Wrist Shot - Assists: Manny Malhotra and Duvie Westcott
09:56Power Play - Aaron Johnson, Snap Shot - Assists: Jody Shelley and David Vyborny
Penalty Summary
02:32Goertzen: High sticking - 4 min.
11:46Chimera: Holding - 2 min.
14:05Westcott: Hooking - 2 min.
01:12Drake: Hooking - 2 min.
07:16Weinrich: Hooking - 2 min.
09:33Backman: Delay of Game - 2 min.
19:36Chimera: Delay of Game - 2 min.
Columbus397 19
St. Louis111211 34
Attendance - 15002
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Kerry Fraser, Craig Spada
Line Judges - Ryan Galloway, Mark Pare
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