Backes, Brodziak lead Blues past Hurricanes, 5-2
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The St. Louis Blues used a balanced scoring effort to beat the short-handed Carolina Hurricanes.
David Backes and Kyle Brodziak scored in the second period to give the Blues the lead on the way to a 5-2 victory over the Hurricanes on Sunday.
Ty Rattie, Robby Fabbri and Alex Pietrangelo also scored as St. Louis snapped a three-game losing streak overall and won for the fifth time in six road games. Jake Allen stopped 32 shots.
“The goals from those guys are a bonus,” Backes said. “That’s what those guys are there for to give us energy. They were fantastic and the rest of us followed suit and we need efforts like that with the bodies we’ve got out and we got one tonight. It’s a good feeling in here.”
Jeff Skinner and Ron Hainsey each had a goal and an assist in the first period for the Hurricanes, who traded captain Eric Staal to the New York Rangers about an hour before the game. Cam Ward finished with 35 saves as Carolina lost its third straight.
Carolina coach Bill Peters said losing Staal will be difficult to overcome and it was a factor in the Hurricanes’ loss on Sunday.
“It is going to be a void for sure until we figure a way to fix that,” Peters said. “That’s a 6-foot-4 guy who plays 20 minutes a night. I think it has to be a factor for sure. That’s the reality. It definitely plays a part in it.”
St. Louis tied the score at 2-all on Backes’ goal 20 seconds into the second period. The Blues took the lead as Brodziak scored short-handed with 8:40 remaining in the period for his first goal in 37 games.
“It felt good and luckily I finished it off,” Brodziak said. “Over the last couple of weeks we’ve generated a few more chances as a line. We figured it was a matter of time before we could break through. Hopefully, tonight was the start of things to come.”
Fabbri and Pietrangelo closed out the scoring in the third period. For Fabbri, it was his team-leading ninth point since the All-Star break. Pietrangelo had missed the last nine games with an injured right knee and was just activated from the injured reserve list.
St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said Pietrangelo’s return to the lineup made a difference for the Blues.
“Petro makes a huge difference. What can you say?” Hitchcock said. “He organizes our team better, puts players in better position play-wise, gets us better matchups. He really helps us a lot.”
Rattie got the Blues on the scoreboard first, 2:17 into the game.
Skinner and Hainsey then gave the Hurricanes the lead with goals 1:24 apart near the midpoint of the period.
NOTES: Staal was drafted in 2003 and was the Hurricanes’ leader in games played (909), goals (322) and assists (453) since the team moved from Hartford in 1997. ... Skinner played in his 400th NHL game, all with Carolina. ... St. Louis brought up G Anders Nilsson on Sunday as their backup. He was acquired in a trade with Edmonton on Friday.