ST. LOUIS – David Perron scored with a move he practises all the time, but hasn’t perfected yet.
It was good enough to lift the St. Louis Blues over the New York Islanders. Perron’s between-the-legs play enabled him to get around defenceman Mark Streit and sweep the puck past goalie Dwayne Roloson in the Blues’ 4-1 victory over the Islanders on Saturday night.
It was Perron’s second goal of the game and team-leading ninth of the season. It also capped the Blues’ four-goal surge.
“We practise those kind of moves,” Perron said. “You react to what’s open, what’s available. It worked, so it was fun. I’m glad it worked out tonight.”
Patrik Berglund’s first goal in 13 games proved to be the difference, Eric Brewer also scored, and Chris Mason stopped 23 shots as the Blues won back-to-back games for the first time since beating Detroit in Sweden on Oct. 2-3. St. Louis is 3-2 on a six-game homestand.
“It means we won our segment,” Blues coach Andy Murray said. “It means we had six points in the last five games, which is important to us. It also means in the last eight games, we’ve only lost two.”
The Islanders got a goal from Josh Bailey and 22 saves from Roloson, but New York has dropped consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Nov. 4-6. The Islanders lost 3-2 at Minnesota on Friday.
“It definitely wasn’t our game tonight,” Islanders winger Trent Hunter said. “Sometimes it takes a few minutes to get your legs going after playing the night before, but that wasn’t the case. We can’t use that as an excuse that we played last night.”
Berglund’s first point in 10 games put the Blues up 2-1 at 15:23 of the second period on a shot from the high slot that beat Roloson. B.J. Crombeen’s screen in the crease might have prevented Roloson from seeing the Blues’ second shot of the period.
“Obviously, it was an important goal,” Berglund said. “The whole second period, we didn’t play good at all. It was really good that we got that goal. We went into the third period and played really good, got the puck to the net and scored some other goals.”
Perron netted his eighth goal when he swept in the puck from the crease following Barret Jackman’s one-timer from the left point 1:15 into the third. That gave the Blues a 3-1 lead, and Jackman earned his 100th NHL point.
Perron’s second of the game came at 5:02 of the third off a move that is familiar to Murray.
“I saw it in a pre-season game his very first year, which kind of convinced us maybe he could play in this league right away,” Murray said.
The Islanders grabbed the early lead as Bailey’s wrister from the top of the right circle got past a screened Mason 5:10 into the game. It was Bailey’s fifth of the season and second in two nights.
That was the only offence New York could muster.
“Our biggest problem was we didn’t push the puck when we had opportunities,” Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. “Our backcheck was our biggest nemesis. We just gave them too much time on the entries.
“I can’t believe (the Blues) are just .500 (8-8-4). That just blows my mind with the talent they have.”
The Blues quickly answered Bailey’s goal. Brewer’s shot from the left point at 8:02 tied the game. It was his first goal since Oct. 16, 2008.
NOTES: The last time the Islanders visited St. Louis was Dec. 6, 2005. … The last Islanders’ loss in St. Louis in regulation was Dec. 19, 1995, a string of seven games (4-0-3). … Islanders C Doug Weight, who was out because of an upper-body injury, played 365 games in two stints with the Blues. He scored 295 points for St. Louis. … Blues assistant coach Brad Shaw served as an assistant and was interim head coach for the Islanders before joining the Blues in 2006. … Jackman played in his 400th NHL game. … Blues LW Keith Tkachuk has 22 career points in 22 games against the Islanders. … Paul Kariya’s assist on Brewer’s goal snapped a 12-game pointless streak. … Blues LW Alex Steen returned to the lineup after missing 14 games due to a fractured wrist.