What could have been a go-ahead goal for Columbus was disallowed after a video review on Wednesday and St. Louis rookie David Backes scored twice to lead the Blues past the Jackets 4-2.
With the score tied at 2-2 at the 7:07 mark of the third period, Anson Carter’s wrist shot handcuffed Legace, who fell backward into the net with the puck rolling underneath him and apparently over the goal-line.
His leg blocked an overhead view of the puck, and after a review, it was ruled it was not a goal.
“You guys should know better than I would. Didn’t you see the replay?” Legace asked reporters. “I had no idea where the puck was. It went to Carter and he threw it at the net. It hit the side of the net. I felt it go under my right leg. I didn’t know where it was.”
When referee Dave Jackson waved off the goal, a sparse crowd because of a snowstorm booed the result.
“We never saw the puck cross the line at any time, which is why we initiated a review,” Jackson said. “The video was inconclusive, so the call stood.”
Three minutes later, Backes scored his second goal to give the Blues the lead for good. Playing in his 25th game, he notched his third and fourth goals – three coming in the last three contests.
Jay McClement streaked along the left boards with the puck before firing a backdoor, tape-to-tape pass that only required Backes to put his stick on the ice to score.
“The way my linemates were playing, setting me up, it was easy for me,” Backes said. “Especially on the second goal with Jay throwing the puck across the crease, behind both of the defencemen and right on my tape. I had the easy part.”
Bill Guerin scored a goal, Dallas Drake added an empty-netter and Legace stopped 20 shots. Lee Stempniak had two assists for the Blues, who improved to 11-11-6 on the road.
Rick Nash and Alexander Svitov had goals for Columbus, which has dropped five of six. Nash scored only his second goal in 17 games.
“We had a lot of good efforts, but unfortunately they scored on their chance in the third period,” Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We made a poor decision to join the rush and our defencemen got caught up ice. That was the winning goal.”
After Nash gave Columbus a 1-0 lead with his 15th, Petr Cajanek carried the puck straight to the net from the right dot before sliding a pass to Guerin, who was all alone for the goal. Coming off a three-goal game in a 6-5 loss to San Jose on Tuesday night, Guerin has five goals and two assists in four games.
Backes made it 2-1 at 13:07 of the second, firing a shot that beat Pascal Leclaire between the pads.
Svitov answered for Columbus 4½ minutes later, carrying the puck from his blue-line to the top of the circles and shooting the puck past Legace for his seventh.
Neither team threatened until Carter’s shot was ruled a no-goal.
“I haven’t seen it,” Blues coach Andy Murray said. “The referee on the ice called it off, so it would have to be totally clear. We talked to our video guy (and he said) it wasn’t clear enough.”
Notes: Hitchcock is seven games shy of 800 in his career. . . . St. Louis is 4-7-3 in the first game of back-to-backs but 7-6-1 in the second. . . . It was the fourth game of Columbus’ six-game homestand, the longest in franchise history.