Backes wins it, Blues outlast Stars 3-2 in 9-round shootout
ST. LOUIS (AP) — David Backes couldn’t remember his last shootout attempt before Saturday night, but the St. Louis Blues’ captain won’t soon forget this one.
Backes scored in the final round of a franchise record-tying nine-round shootout to lift the Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
“It’s not my forte but when called upon hopefully I can contribute and tonight was one of those nights,” said Backes, unsuccessful in his previous four shootout attempts. “You look at all the efforts that it took to get there. ... We stuck with it for 60 minutes and we’ve been saying all year we’re going to like our results and we like them tonight.”
Alexander Steen scored a power-play goal in the second period, Robby Fabbri tied it late in the third and Jake Allen finished 22 saves for the Blues (22-11-4), who earned their second win over the Stars this season and have won five of six overall.
“We played very well, played very well from start to finish,” St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We did a lot of good things. It would have just been an absolute shame to not walk away with points, but we did a number of really good things today. The goalies make a difference and their goalie was making a difference until Robby scored that goal.”
Tyler Seguin and Colton Sceviour scored in regulation and Antti Niemi stopped 35 shots for the Central Division-leading Stars (26-7-3), who had won three straight overall.
The teams meet again Sunday in Dallas.
“A tough circumstance but a pretty even game,” Stars center Jason Spezza said. “They probably carried the play a little bit but we had a 2-1 lead with 3 minutes left and a chance to win the game. So we got a point and now we move on tomorrow at home where we’ve been good.”
The Blues scored first, 6:18 into the second period, on a power-play goal by Steen from the high slot after a pass from Kevin Shattenkirk.
The goal, Steen’s 12th of the season, was the Blues’ eighth on the man advantage in nine games. Vladimir Tarasenko also picked up an assist, extending his point streak to a career-best eight games.
The Stars answered 2:03 later when Sceviour beat Allen for his third goal of the season after a pass from Cody Eakin. Jamie Benn also assisted, giving him 47 points in 36 games.
St. Louis had outshot Dallas 11-0 in the second period before Sceviour’s goal.
The Blues had two more good scoring chances in the period, but Colton Parayko hit the post with a wrister and Fabbri’s wraparound attempt toward an open net was broken up by Ales Hemsky.
Seguin scored his 20th of the season and the 150th of his career with 37 seconds remaining in the second on a drive from the right circle. Patrick Sharp and Alex Goligowski assisted on the go-ahead goal.
Fabbri tied the score at 2 with 1:50 remaining with his eighth of the season and third in three games on a shot from the slot after a pass from Jay Bouwmeester.
“He’s a scorer,” Hitchcock said of Fabbri, a 19-year-old rookie. “You don’t shoot the puck like that, snap it like that, get it away like that. He’s a scorer. He’s going to be a big-time scorer in the National Hockey League because he gets open, he finds those pockets and the puck’s gone.”
Shattenkirk kept the score tied in overtime when he batted a backhander from Sharp out of the air before it crossed the goal line.
“All I saw out of the corner of my eye was the puck going the other way,” Allen said. “I watched on the replay and he obviously batted it out of the air. He’s playing unbelievable for us. He does every single possible thing to help us win.”
Steen, Tarasenko, Jori Lehtera, Dmitrij Jaskin and Backes scored in the shootout for the Blues. Seguin, Sharp, Spezza and Patrick Eaves scored for the Stars, but St. Louis pulled out the victory when Allen denied Vernon Fiddler in the ninth round after Backes scored.
NOTES: Stars D Johnny Oduya played in his 700th career regular-season game. ... Blues D Carl Gunnarsson returned to the lineup after missing one game with an upper-body injury. ... St. Louis assigned forward Jordan Caron to the AHL on Wednesday but recalled him Saturday and inserted him into the lineup in place of injured Kyle Brodziak, who has missed four games after being cut by a skate. ... The attendance of 19,185 was the Blues’ sixth sellout of the season.