Perron, Backes keep Blues rolling

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) — David Perron scored twice and David Backes
added a goal and an assist as the St. Louis Blues cruised to a
5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

Brad Winchester and Keith Tkachuk also tallied and defenseman
Carlo Colaiacovo added a pair of assists for St. Louis, which
has won five of its last seven games.

Chris Mason made 20 saves for the Blues (30-28-8), who climbed
within three points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the
Western Conference.

“This is what playoff teams do, but a lot more than once in a
while,” Tkachuk said. “We have to play three good periods every
night – sometimes more.”

Rookie James Neal and Mike Ribeiro scored for the Stars, who
have lost eight of their last 10 (2-7-1). Dallas is just two
points ahead of St. Louis in the standings.

“They are catching people in a hurry, and soon they’re going to
catch us,” Stars center Mike Modano said. “We’ve got to come
out of the gate better at both ends.”

Entering with two losses in their previous three games, the
Blues took the lead for good just 59 seconds into this one as
Backes extended his goal-scoring streak to three games with his
22nd of the season.

“That first goal was exactly the type of game we were talking
about playing,” Blues coach Andy Murray said. “We did a lot of
good things in the first period.”

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Perron made it 2-0 at 6:32 of the first period, skating around
defenseman Nicklas Grossman in the left faceoff circle and
beating goaltender Marty Turco.

“We started the game strong. That was the key,” Perron said.
“When you see David get a big goal like that for us early, we
just had to keep it going, and that’s what we did. Everybody
was into this one tonight.”

Winchester capped St. Louis’ three-goal session – and ended
Turco’s night – by backhanding his own rebound into the net
during a power play with 8:04 left.

Turco stopped just five of eight shots before being replaced by
Tobias Stephan, who finished with 17 saves.

“You always expect to do your best, even when you’re not feeling
your best,” Turco said. “You work hard on the fundamentals and
you rely on them, but it wasn’t my night.”

“It felt very good to get (Turco) out of there,” St. Louis’ T.J.
Oshie said.

Neal got Dallas on the board with a man-advantage goal at 5:20
of the middle period, but Perron restored St. Louis’ three-goal
bulge less than five minutes later.

“He’s a good player when he manages his energy level and doesn’t
overstep it,” Murray said of Perron. “He does good things.”

Ribeiro again drew the Stars within two at 11:37 before Tkachuk
concluded the scoring with a power-play tally with 4:20
remaining in the session.