David Backes led a balanced offensive attack with a goal and an assist as the St. Louis Blues handled the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-1, on Thursday.
Barret Jackman, Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Tarasenko also scored for the Blues, who have won four in a row to improve to 6-1-0. It's their best start to a season since going 7-1-0 to begin the 1997-98 campaign.
Brian Elliott made 24 saves in the victory.
"He was great," Jackman said of Elliott. "He gave us a lot of confidence."
Derick Brassard scored the lone goal for the Blue Jackets, who started a six- game homestand on Thursday.
Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after giving up three goals on just 11 shots in the first period. Steve Mason stopped all 13 shots he faced in relief.
The Blues came out of the gates on fire. They found the back of the net just 2:19 into the game, when Jackman's shot from the left point beat traffic in front and got past Bobrovsky.
Berglund's power-play goal at the 10:23 mark made it 2-0. He rocketed a shot from the top of the left circle that beat Bobrovsky.
About three minutes later, Tarasenko lit the lamp to give the Blues a three- goal cushion. Alexander Steen chipped the puck into the offensive zone ahead to Tarasenko, who stopped in his tracks and avoided Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski. Tarasenko then wristed a shot past Bobrovsky, who was pulled in favor of Mason.
"I'm disappointed. It was 3-0, but it wasn't necessarily just the score," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "It was more how we were playing and how they were playing."
The Blue Jackets finally got on the board with 3:09 left in the middle stanza. Brandon Dubinsky slid a pass across the slot to Brassard, whose blast from the right circle beat Elliott. The power-play goal made it a 3-1 contest.
Backes scored an empty-net goal with 21 seconds left in the third.
The Blues are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games against Columbus ... The Blue Jackets were without defensemen Adrian Aucoin (lower body) and Nikita Nikitin (head) ... Jonathan Audy-Marchessault made his NHL debut for Columbus ... Blues defenseman Wade Redden (flu-like symptoms) missed the game ... The Blue Jackets fell to 2-5-1 on the season.