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Backes' 2 goals lead Blues over slumping Rangers


October 12. 2013 11:36PM
Associated Press



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(AP) David Backes scored twice, and the unbeaten St. Louis Blues beat the slumping New York Rangers 5-3 on Saturday night.


The Blues, who haven't trailed at all this season, are 4-0 for the first time in franchise history.


Derek Roy, Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko added goals for St. Louis, which has outscored its opponents 19-7. Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves to improve to 4-0.


Ryan Callahan scored twice for the Rangers (1-4), and Brad Richards added his team-leading fourth goal. New York, which has four games left on a season-opening, nine-game trip, has lost three in a row by a combined score of 20-5.


St. Louis scored four times on its first 17 shots against backup goalie Martin Biron, who was making his first start of the season. Biron was pulled after the second period in favor of regular netminder Henrik Lundqvist.


Biron stopped 13 of 17 shots. Lundqvist allowed one goal on 17 shots.


The Blues won their first three games in 1969 and 1993, but had never won four in a row to start a season in their 47-year history.


Backes, who scored just six goals last season in the lockout-shortened campaign, already has four this season. He didn't notch his fourth last season until the Blues' 35th game.


Backes put St. Louis ahead 2-1 by beating Biron with a wrist shot at 5:11 of the second period. He pushed the lead to 4-2 later in the frame off a pass from T.J. Oshie.


Steen added three assists giving him a team-leading eight points including four goals.


New York tied it 1-1 on Callahan's first of the season, but trailed the rest of the way after Backes scored his first. The Rangers' goal came during a 5-on-3 power play with 5.8 seconds left in the first period.


Callahan closed the gap to 4-3 with a power-play goal at 2:54 of the third. Tarasenko restored the Blues' two-goal lead with a power-play goal midway through the period.


NOTES: St. Louis is 27-6-5 against the Eastern Conference since the start of the 2010-11 season. ... Rangers LW Rick Nash missed his second consecutive game because of a head injury sustained Tuesday on a hit by San Jose's Brad Stuart. Stuart was suspended three games by the NHL. ... Lundqvist has beaten every NHL team except St. Louis. ... The Blues allowed their first third-period goal of the season. ... St. Louis is starting the season with five straight home games for the second time in team history.


Associated Press


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