Published April 05, 2010
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Erik Johnson scored on a power play with 1:01 to go in overtime, keeping the St. Louis Blues' slim playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.
Andy McDonald had a goal and an assist 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.
Colorado can knock out the Blues on Tuesday night with a victory at Vancouver.
Derick Brassard scored an early power-play goal and Mathieu Garon made 32 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have lost three straight. 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.
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, beating Garon off a feed from David Perron 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.
NOTES: Blues F Keith Tkachuk played in his 1,200th game. He drew a double-minor penalty for boarding and roughing late in the first, slamming his stick on the ice in frustration. The player he elbowed into the boards, center Andrew Murray, did not return, and Tkachuk was sidelined with an undisclosed injury after two periods. ... Blues F Patrik Berglund (upper body) also missed the third. ... Columbus' leading scorer Rick Nash (upper body) was among the scratches after participating in the morning skate. ... Paid attendance of 17,601 was about 1,500 shy of capacity, ending a string of 15 straight sellouts for the Blues.