CALGARY, Alberta – Jason Arnott scored a pair of power-play goals Monday night to lead St. Louis to a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames, moving the Blues into a tie with Detroit atop the Central Division.
David Backes also scored for St. Louis, 9-3 in its last 12 games to move within two points of the Vancouver Canucks for first place overall.
Curtis Glencross scored the lone goal for Calgary, which remained in 11th place in the Western Conference, three points back of the eighth-place Dallas Stars.
Calgary recognized Hall of Fame defenseman Al MacInnis before the game, honoring his No. 2 by raising it to the rafters of the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Arnott gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead with 20 seconds remaining in the first period when he scored on a long slap shot that eluded goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
He made it 3-1 in the second by corralling a rebound off Patrick Berglund's shot, skating through the slot and shoveling in a backhander.
Arnott, who entered the night with one goal in his last 13 games, has 29 goals in 57 career games against the Flames.
Backes erased Calgary's 1-0 lead on a rare bad goal surrendered by Kiprusoff at 14:13 of the first period. Backes flung a harmless-looking wrist shot at the net as he skated down the wing and it squeezed through the pads of the goaltender.
It was the first shaky night for Kiprusoff in a long time. The 35-year-old Finn, who finished with 21 saves, has been sensational for the Flames all season, one of the main reasons Calgary climbed back into playoff contention, picking up points in 10 of its previous 11 games.
Jaroslav Halak won his third straight start for St. Louis and finished with 20 saves. He is 12-3 in his last 15 decisions.
The Flames opened the scoring when Cory Sarich's nice pass gave Glencross an open lane to the net. He sent a perfect wrist shot over the blocker of Halak and just inside the goal post.
It was the 19th goal of the season for Glencross and first in three games since returning from a sprained knee, which sidelined him for 13 games.
The Flames generated only 11 shots on goal in a listless opening 40 minutes, drawing the ire of the sellout crowd of 19,289. The booing started during an anemic Calgary power play late in the second period that failed to generate any good chances. The jeers grew louder as the team headed off the ice after the second, and intensified even more after the final buzzer sounded.
The Flames wrapped up a four-game homestand without a victory and earning only two points, the result of two shootout losses.
Notes: Calgary has been outshot in 11 games in row. During those 11 games, Calgary has been outshot by a combined 107 shots. ... The Blues improved to 26-2-1 when leading after two periods. ... Arnott has 415 career goals, fourth among active players. He is three up on Marian Hossa.