COLUMBUS, Ohio -- When the St. Louis Blues are in high gear, very few clubs in the NHL can hang with them. Certainly not the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Thursday night's meeting between the Central Division rivals was over quickly, with St. Louis scoring three first-period goals en route to a 4-1 win before 11,155 in Nationwide Arena.
Barret Jackman, Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Tarasenko scored for the Blues, who chased Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky only 13 1/2 minutes into the game.
The Blue Jackets, who have lost six of their last seven games, were blistered by coach Todd Richards for a lackadaisical effort in a 3-2 loss in Minnesota on Tuesday. But they didn't awake against the Blues until early in the second, and by then it was too late.
The Blues ran the Blue Jackets ragged in the first period.
At 2:19, on the first shot of the game, Jackman's floater from the blue line found the far corner of the net to make it 1-0. Bobrovsky never saw the puck, thanks to a screen by Blues forward Jamie Langenbrunner.
The lead grew to 2-0 at 10:23 of the first when Berglund found space above the left faceoff circle and stepped into a slap shot.
The Blue Jackets pulled the plug on Bobrovsky at 13:22 when St. Louis went ahead 3-0. Tarasenko was sprung by an Alex Steen pass, then pulled up to get around Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski and score while falling backward.
Bobrovsky, who was facing the Blues for the first time, stopped eight of 11 shots before giving way to Steve Mason.
Mason was perfect the rest of the way, stopping only 13 shots. But by then the game was out of reach.
The Blue Jackets scored to make it 3-1 with 3:09 remaining in the second period. Derick Brassard scored on a wrist shot coming through the right circle, his first goal of the season.
The Blues made it 4-1 with 20.1 seconds remaining when David Backes scored into an empty net.
Brian Elliott had 24 saves for the Blues.
NOTES: Blues defenseman Wade Redden sat out the game with the flu. ... The Blue Jackets recalled forward Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and defenseman Tim Erixon from minor-league Springfield after losing winger Matt Calvert and defensemen Adrian Aucoin and Nikita Nikitin in Tuesday's loss in Minnesota. ... Audy-Marchessault, 21, made his NHL debut. ... Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said returning to Columbus to face one of his former clubs has no emotional effect on him. "I looked at the (Blue Jackets') roster today," Hitchcock said. "Cripes, I know like five players. That's just changed a lot. It's another road game for me, to be honest."