Blues beat Blue Jackets in shootout

ST. LOUIS — David Perron scored in the first extra round of the shootout to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

Perron beat Steve Mason after the teams traded goals in the first three rounds of the tiebreaker. Chris Mason then stopped Antoine Vermette’s attempt to end the game.

The Blues, in the tight Western Conference playoff race, won their fourth straight for the first time this season and are tied for tied for eighth place with Edmonton.

Keith Tkachuk, Patrik Berglund and Alex Steen scored for the Blues in regulation. Brad Boyes also had a goal for the Blues in the shootout.

Columbus, sixth in the West as it tries to qualify for its first playoff appearance, had won seven of nine (7-1-1). Vermette, Kristian Huselius and Rick Nash scored for the Blue Jackets, who overcame a 3-1 third-period deficit. Nash scored for Columbus in the shootout.

The Blues, 5-1-1 in their last seven games, have won six in a row at home against Columbus. St. Louis took a 2-1 lead in the first period.

Tkachuk scored his 22nd goal 6:17 into the game when he redirected in Brad Winchester’s pass.

Vermette tied it for Columbus with a short-handed goal, his 15th tally of the season. Vermette beat Chris Mason with a backhander on a breakaway at 12:22 after bursting through a pair of Blues players following a pass from R.J. Umberger.

Berglund sneaked a backhander through the legs of Steve Mason at 13:47 to restore the Blues’ lead.

Steen made it 3-1 when he roofing a rebound of his shot 5:48 into the second period. Jay McClement kept the puck in the Columbus zone after Kris Russell failed to clear, getting the puck to B.J. Crombeen. Crombeen’s initial shot hit Steen in the back, and the puck dropped at Steen’s skates in the slot. He first backhanded a shot between his legs before beating Steve Mason.

Blues rookie T.J. Oshie made his presence felt in the third period, flattening Rick Nash with a check after serving a penalty.

The Blue Jackets rallied in the third period to tie it 3-3 on goals by Huselius and Nash on goals 1:33 apart.

Huselius made it 3-2 by netting his 21st of the season 7:23 into the third, poking his own rebound past Chris Mason after Jason Williams kept the puck in the Blues zone.

Nash netted his 35th at 8:56, snapping in a shot from between the circles.

Notes: The teams will meet again Sunday in Columbus and have one more meeting in St. Louis on April 10. … Berglund became the 10th Blues rookie to score 20 goals and the first since Jim Campbell netted 23 during the 1996-97 season. Berglund has three goals in three games after scoring one in 22. … Vermette has six goals in 10 games for Columbus since being acquired from Ottawa at the trade deadline. … Steen’s goal was his first in 17 games and second in 33. … Nash has 15 points in 13 games.

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