Final

Series (Game 6 of 6)

St. Louis leads 5-1

Game 1: Friday, December 12th
Blues3Final
OT
Blue Jackets2
Game 2: Tuesday, December 16th
Blue Jackets1Final
OT
Blues2
Game 3: Monday, December 29th
Blues3Final
Blue Jackets2
Game 4: Thursday, January 15th
Blue Jackets3Final
Blues5
Game 5: Wednesday, January 21st
Blues1Final
Blue Jackets3
Game 6: Saturday, March 13th
Blue Jackets3Final
Blues5

Blue Jackets 3

(20-39-4, 52 pts)

Blues 5

(33-26-2, 78 pts)

8:00 PM ET, March 13, 2004

Scottrade Center, Saint Louis, Missouri

1 2 3 T
CBJ 0 2 13
STL 1 1 35

M. Sillinger (Blues - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

D. Drake (Blues - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

B. Savage (Blues - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

St. Louis rallies with three goals in third

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Two newcomers from Phoenix are helping the St. Louis Blues stay in the playoff hunt.

Mike Sillinger scored two goals, and Brian Savage added another as the Blues rallied to earn a 5-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

The Blues acquired Sillinger and Savage from the Phoenix Coyotes last week in separate deals. In five games, Sillinger has three goals and two assists.

"It's my job," 32-year-old Sillinger said. "It's like a second life for me. It's been a tough year for me. I had hernia surgery at the start of the year. I enjoyed it at Phoenix, but coming here and getting a chance for the playoffs, especially at my age, it's all a player can ask for."

Savage also is pleased to be on a playoff contender.

"We couldn't let these two points slip away," Savage said. "It was desperate times in the third period there, and we came through."

After the Blues took a 2-0 lead on goals by Sillinger and Alexander Khavanov, the Blue Jackets came back to take the lead when Trevor Letowski scored twice and Alexander Svitov added a goal.

St. Louis responded with three goals in the third period.

"They didn't play desperate until the third period when it was 3-2," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. "I thought they played like a team that was too nervous to make some mistakes. They're a good hockey team, don't get me wrong. In the first two periods, I thought they were playing laid back and didn't want to make mistakes."

Keith Tkachuk's winner came when Columbus' Todd Marchant was off for tripping. After Petr Cajanek muffed a shot, Tkachuk got the puck and scored at 12:37. Sillinger scored his second of the game at 16:36 on a two-on-one break.

The Blues tied it at 3 when Savage poked in a rebound of Doug Weight's shot at 6:41.

"In the first two periods, we were really, you know, awful," Tkachuk said. "For a big game like this at this time of the year, you can't just turn it on and expect to go. It has to be there.

"We were behind the eight-ball there for a while. We had to fight through it."

Letowski expected the Blues' comeback.

"We knew they were going to come out hard in the third," Letowski said. "It's only natural. They're fighting for their lives."

The Blue Jackets took the lead at 2:47. Nikolai Zherdev flung the puck in from the top of slot toward the net, and Letowski deflected the shot in off the right post.

The Blues outshot Columbus 17-6 in the third period and 32-21 for the game.

St. Louis, which has reached the playoffs 24 consecutive years, moved one point ahead of Los Angeles in the race for eighth place in the Western Conference. The Blues' postseason streak is the longest current run in professional sports.

Columbus, an NHL-worst 5-23-4-2 on the road, has dropped five straight overall.

The Blues, 4-0-2 in their last six, went 5-1 this season against Columbus. St. Louis is 9-1-1 at home versus the Blue Jackets.

St. Louis led 1-0 after the first period on Sillinger's short-handed goal, the Blues' first since Jan. 1.

Blue Jackets goalie Fred Brathwaite was hit by a long shot from Bryce Salvador. Brathwaite finished the first period but was then replaced by Marc Denis because of a groin injury. Brathwaite is day-to-day.

St. Louis went ahead 2-0 at 4:46 of the second period on Khavanov's power-play goal, the first shot against Denis.

"We kind of fell asleep after that and turned the puck over too much," Blues forward Dallas Drake said.

Game notes


Morning skates are optional for the Blues in an attempt to save the team's energy for the rest of the season. ... Blues D Murray Baron returned after missing two games because of the flu.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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