ST. LOUIS -- After going 14 games without scoring a goal, David Backes made it two in two nights Friday night, and it could not have come at a better time for the St. Louis Blues.
Only nine seconds after the Blue Jackets tied the game at 1 late in the second period, Backes scored only his fifth goal of the year, firing the puck past goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. The goal turned out to be the game-winner as the Blues added a last second empty-net goal for a 3-1 victory.
Goalie Jake Allen made Backes' goal stand up through the third period, including the final 1:40 seconds when Columbus was on a power play, to extend the Blues' winning streak to three games. The win allowed the Blues to increase their lead over Columbus to three points in the battle for the playoffs. St. Louis has 12 games remaining in the regular season, two more than the Blue Jackets.
Columbus appeared to score the tying goal 6:40 into the third period, but it was waved off because Matt Calvert was in the crease.
After a scoreless first period in which the two teams combined for only 12 shots on goal, the Blues took a 1-0 lead with 4:02 left in the second period on Chris Stewart's 16th goal of the season. The goal came on a power play after Columbus' James Wisniewski was called for tripping Vladimir Sobotka.
That lead only lasted less than three minutes as Adrian Anisimov skated with the puck from behind the St. Louis net and fired a shot past Allen with 1:24 left in the period.
That was the only goal the Blue Jackets could score on Allen, who was playing his first game since March 26, when he was pulled in the second period after allowing three goals on seven shots against Edmonton.
He was sent back to Peoria of the AHL but was recalled when Jaroslav Halak suffered a groin injury Monday night against Minnesota.
NOTES: Blake Comeau played his first game for Columbus after being acquired from Calgary in a trade-deadline deal. ... The Blue Jackets recalled defenseman Cody Golubef from Springfield of the AHL on an emergency basis, but he did not dress for the game. ... The two newest Blues, defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold, both played their first home game in St. Louis. ... Both the Blues and Blue Jackets were playing their second game in as many nights. St. Louis won in a shootout Thursday night in Chicago while Columbus won at Nashville. ... Both teams will be back in action Sunday, with the Blues playing at Detroit in day game and Columbus hosting Minnesota on Sunday night.