Backes nets four as Blues nip Red Wings

DETROIT (AP) — Not even David Backes could explain what

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound winger scored a career-high four goals,
including the go-ahead score with 4:07 left, in the surging St.
Louis Blues’ 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday

“I don’t know what happened,” said Backes, who also had his
first hat trick. “One of those games where you kind of black
out and then they’re patting you on the back.”

Andy McDonald also scored and Chris Mason made 34 saves to help
the Blues jump from ninth to eighth in the Western Conference
playoff race. The Blues are a point behind seventh-place
Anaheim and one ahead of ninth-place Nashville.

“We just battled in the third period,” Mason said. “It was back
and forth, and we got the two points.”

St. Louis rebounded from a 3-1 loss in Chicago on Wednesday
night that snapped its winning streak at five games.

Nicklas Lidstrom and Niklas Kronwall each had a goal and two
assists and Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen both had a goal and
an assist for Detroit, which lost its third straight and fourth
in five games. Ty Conklin stopped 28 shots.

“Obviously, the job I’m doing here, the team is not ready,” Red
Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “So, myself and the leadership
group here, as a group of individuals, we’ve got to do better
than this. This is unacceptable.”

Backes broke a 4-4 tie with his 30th goal of the season, scoring
on a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle.

“We felt that David had the potential to be a 30-goal scorer,”
Blues coach Andy Murray said. “But we didn’t think it would
happen here in Detroit.”

Kronwall tied it at 4 with 4:43 left on a slap shot from the

Franzen made it 4-3 with a spectacular effort at 3:52. He made
a move and jumped around St. Louis defenseman Mike Weaver in the
slot, then beat Mason as he was falling to the ice for his 33rd

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Lidstrom tied it at 2 with a power-play goal 1:13 into the third
period. His 14th goal came on a slap shot from the point.

But Backes’ third goal, just 24 seconds later, restored the
Blues’ one-goal lead. He beat Conklin from the slot after a mix
up between Conklin and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson behind the
Detroit net.

McDonald’s power-play goal 2:53 into the third made it 4-2. He
tipped in T.J. Oshie’s shot from the point.

“Mad is an interesting word. Frustrated is a waste of time,”
Babcock said. “I’m just telling you I’m disappointed. I’m
disappointed in the job I’m getting done here. I’m disappointed
in the group right now. This is very un-Red Wing-like.”

The Blues took a 2-0 lead in the middle period on Backes’ first
two goals.

He opened the scoring at 6:02, when he slammed in a one-time
shot from the slot off a pass from Brad Winchester, who was
behind the net.

Backes’ second goal came at 9:26, when he put in a rebound off
the back boards.

Datsyuk put Detroit on the board with 5:17 left in the second
with his 31st goal. He tipped in Lidstrom’s shot from the left

Notes: Chris Chelios is Detroit’s nominee for the Bill Masterton
Trophy, which goes to the player who “best exemplifies the
qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to
hockey.” Chelios is the NHL’s oldest player at 47. Only Gordie
Howe, at 52, played when he was older. … B.J. Crombeen is St.
Louis’ Masterton nominee. The rookie has diabetes. … Red
Wings D Brian Rafalski missed his second game because of a sore
groin. … Lidstrom’s goal moved him past Hall of Famer and
former Red Wing Larry Murphy for seventh place in power-play
goals by defensemen with 115. Murphy is a Detroit television
analyst. … The Blues beat the Red Wings for the first time in
six games this season.