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NHL roundup

Backes scores 4, gets Blues past Red Wings

Associated Press / April 3, 2009
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Not even David Backes could explain what happened.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 220-pound winger scored a career-high four goals, including the go-ahead score with 4:07 left, and the surging St. Louis Blues edged the Red Wings, 5-4, last night in Detroit.

"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 ahead of Nashville and a point behind Anaheim.

"We just battled in the third period," Mason said.

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 each had a goal and an assist for Detroit, which lost its third straight.

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 just 36 seconds after Kronwall had tied it on a slap shot from the point.

Ducks 6, Canucks 5 - Corey Perry scored the only shootout goal and visiting Anaheim overcame a pair of two-goal deficits to beat Vancouver for its eighth win in nine games.

Jonas Hiller made 25 saves in regulation and overtime, then stopped Pavol Demitra, Kyle Wellwood, and Alex Burrows in the shootout as Anaheim moved into seventh place in the Western Conference.

Rookie Bobby Ryan and veteran Teemu Selanne each had two goals for Anaheim, and Perry also scored as for the Ducks.

Hurricanes 4, Rangers 2 - Chad LaRose and Rod Brind'Amour scored 28 seconds apart late in the third period, and Carolina beat New York for its club-record 10th straight home victory.

LaRose finished with two goals, and Eric Staal had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes. They extended their season-best winning streak to seven while surpassing the nine consecutive home-ice wins they had in 2005-06, when they went on to win the franchise's first Stanley Cup.

They haven't been to the postseason since, but they took another step toward wrapping up a playoff berth, jumping past idle Pittsburgh and Philadelphia into fourth place in the East with 93 points.

Corey Potter and Dan Girardi scored for the Rangers, who have lost four of six.

But just when this game seemed headed to overtime, LaRose and Brind'Amour turned a 2-2 game into a comfortable win for Carolina.

Canadiens 5, Islanders 1 - Saku Koivu scored the first of Montreal's three power-play goals, and Alex Kovalev had three assists as the Canadiens opened a season-ending road stretch with an easy win in Uniondale, N.Y.

The Canadiens (40-27-10), who vaulted over the Rangers into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, netted two goals in each of the first two periods and cruised to a critical win over the last-place team in the NHL.

Mathieu Schneider and fellow defenseman Andrei Markov also scored power-play goals for the Canadiens.

Flames 2, Stars 1 - Miikka Kiprusoff made 29 saves, Craig Conroy scored the go-ahead goal, and visiting Calgary clinched a playoff spot.

With a spot in the postseason assured, the Flames can focus on gaining home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

Jarome Iginla scored his 33d goal for Calgary.

Sharks 2, Oilers 1 - Evgeni Nabokov made 25 saves for his 40th victory of the season, and Jonathan Cheechoo and Dan Boyle scored in NHL-leading San Jose's win in Edmonton.

At 51-15-11, San Jose matched the franchise victory record set in 2006-07. Nabokov improved to 40-9-8 and helped the Sharks push their points total to 113 - 3 more than Eastern Conference leader Boston.

Coyotes 2, Kings 1 - Scottie Upshall scored with 5:54 left and Al Montoya made 31 saves in his second career start to help Phoenix beat Los Angeles for its fourth straight home win.

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