Perron, Blues clip Canucks

ST. LOUIS (AP) — T.J. Oshie started the day with an upset
stomach and ended it with a clutch performance in a big win for
the St. Louis Blues.

David Perron scored a power-play goal early in the third period
and the Blues beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Thursday night.
Perron and T.J. Oshie each had a goal and an assist for the
Blues, who are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games as they try to get
into the Western Conference playoffs.

Oshie missed the morning skate but fought off the effects of the
flu hours later to turn in one of his strongest performances of
the season.

His goal early in the second period ignited the Blues, and then
he set up David Backes with a perfect pass for a short-handed
goal that put them ahead 2-1.

“He’s fun to watch when he’s out there,” Blues goalie Chris
Mason said, “I’m glad he’s on our side.”

St. Louis, which moved to five games over .500 for the first
time this season, has 79 points — one behind Anaheim and
Nashville in the playoff race.

Mason stopped 21 shots for his first career victory over the
Canucks in eight appearances. He played his 25th straight game
and improved to 21-20-6 after a 3-13 start.

Backes added his 25th goal of the season, and Andy McDonald put
the game away with a 5-on-3 tally with 34 seconds left.

Taylor Pyatt and Alex Burrows scored for Vancouver.

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Perron converted from close range off a pass from Keith Tkachuk
2:58 into the third period. Perron poked the puck into the lower
left corner of the net for his 13th goal.

Backes’ short-handed goal gave the Blues a 2-1 lead midway
through the second. Oshie had tied the game three minutes
earlier by faking goalie Roberto Luongo to the ice and sliding
the puck into the net.

Perron sent Oshie in alone with a perfect pass. His 12th of the
season was one of the most memorable in his short career.

“This one is up there for me,” the rookie said. “Especially at
this time of the year and in this situation. I did that move in
college. I just waited Luongo out.”

Burrows tied it 2-2 with his 25th goal midway through the second
period. Burrows picked up a loose puck during a scramble in
front and muscled it past Mason.

Vancouver jumped in front 1-0 on a goal by Pyatt 4:15 in. Pyatt
wristed a shot between Mason’s pads for his 10th goal.

The Canucks are fifth in the West, two points behind Chicago in
a race for home-ice advantage in the first round of the

“We were strong the first five minutes,” Luongo said. “Then it
was the Blues the rest of the way.”

St. Louis (35-30-9), which is a season-high five games over
.500, has 79 points — one below the postseason cutoff in the