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Last-place Blues stun Bruins in shootout

By Tony Lee

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) - The Boston Bruins seemingly were winners again

- until David Backes and the lowly St. Louis Blues had one last

swipe.

Backes scored a shocking goal with less than one second left in

regulation and shootout tallies from T.J. Oshie and Brad Boyes

propelled the Blues to an improbable 5-4 victory over the

Bruins, who blew a two-goal lead in the final two minutes of

regulation on Monday.

While the win was an unlikely one for the Western Conference

doormats on the ice of the East's best team, how it occurred

will be talked about for a long time.

Backes' tally - his 16th of the season - will be the focus of

the conversation.

"We were all just trying, really all desperate there at the end

trying to get anything we could get going," said Backes, who

batted a floating puck out of the air past All-Star Tim Thomas

with 0.8 seconds remaining.

Following a five-minute review, the referees allowed the goal,

ruling that the puck was not directed with a high stick.

The Bruins (33-8-5) scored three times in a span of 99 seconds

to turn a one-goal deficit into a 4-2 lead on All-Star

defenseman Zdeno Chara's 10th goal of the season with 3:05

remaining.

The TD Banknorth Garden crowd, relatively quiet throughout most

of a lackluster game, came to life.

But David Perron converted a power-play tally with 1:40 left,

pulling St. Louis within 4-3 and setting up the wild finish.

The Blues first saw Boston rookie Blake Wheeler miss an empty

net shot with 22 seconds left and then used an extra attacker to

pressure Thomas on a final rush.

Veteran Keith Tkachuk got a shot on Thomas with about two

seconds left that bounced into the air in front of Backes as the

clock hit 19:59. But just before the last tick went off, Backes

slapped the puck past Thomas for the equalizer.

"It looks like at one angle, the stick is well below (the

crossbar) and the other angles, you're not as sure," St. Louis

coach Andy Murray said. "They couldn't prove anything so the

referees on the ice thought it was a goal."

Bruins coach Claude Julien was expecting the ruling to be

changed.

"Everybody except the people in charge don't happen to think it

was a goal," Julien said. "They're the ones who decide it and

they called it inconclusive. It goes with what the referee

calls initially and he called it a goal. Not much else I can

say about it."

After Wheeler failed to convert another good opportunity in the

shootout, Oshie beat Thomas easily. Axelsson was stuffed by

Chris Mason, who took over for injured starter Manny Legace

midway through the first, and former Bruin Boyes completed the

stunner by sliding the puck between Thomas' legs.

"Credit to our guys," said Mason, who stopped 21 shots in just

under 52 minutes.

"It was a heck of a finish and we didn't give up. We could have

easily packed it in there, game over. We just kind of got lucky

there and found a way to do it."

Wheeler blamed the loss on himself for the two missed

opportunities, a claim his teammates were quick to shoot down.

"Things like that happen," Michael Ryder said. "I can't remember

how many open nets I've missed. Things like that happen. It's

not the reason we lost the game. It's one of those things.

It's not Blake's fault."

Three minutes after Chuck Kobasew opened the scoring for the

Bruins, Brad Winchester tied it by tipping in a drive from

defenseman Jeff Woywitka.

Jay McClement had his fourth goal of the season 6:51 into the

second to give St. Louis a 2-1 edge, a lead that lasted nearly

32 minutes.

Boston was held without a shot for the first 15 minutes of the

third period, but Ryder and Axelsson scored power-play goals 19

seconds apart after the Bruins were given a 5-on-3 advantage.

Chara's tally with 3:05 remaining appeared to be the clincher.

"We got ourselves in a position with a two-goal lead with three

minutes left," Julien said. "With the type of team we have there

is no way they should get back in the game."

Thomas made 27 shots for Boston, which is now 4-3-1 after a

10-game winning streak.

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