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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


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.



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