Posted March 22, 2012 on AP on Fox
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Jason Blake scored the tiebreaking goal from behind the St. Louis net with 5:54 to play, and the Anaheim Ducks rallied from a third-period deficit for a 4-3 victory over the NHL-leading Blues on Wednesday night. Devante Smith-Pelly tied it earlier in the third period for the Ducks, who erased three St. Louis leads before Blake banked his seventh goal of the season off the skate of St. Louis defenseman Ian Cole. Jonas Hiller made 35 saves for Anaheim, which won five straight home games over St. Louis. Cam Fowler and Nick Bonino also scored and captain Ryan Getzlaf had two assists for the Ducks, whose playoff hopes are essentially dead despite a strong second-half surge under new coach Bruce Boudreau. Anaheim (32-32-11) is nine points out of eighth place in the Western Conference with just seven games to play. Jaden Schwartz scored his second goal in his second NHL game, while captain David Backes and David Perron also scored for the first-place Blues in their first game since earning their 100th point and clinching their first playoff berth in three years last Saturday at Tampa Bay. Jaroslav Halak stopped 18 shots for the Blues, who have lost three of four during a transcontinental seven-game road trip. Blake scored when he controlled the puck near the control and fired it to the front of the net. The puck apparently ricocheted off Cole while he faced charging forward Teemu Selanne. Schwartz, the promising 19-year-old who scored on his first NHL shot four days ago, started the scoring with an alert rebound goal 7 minutes in. The teenager served as the captain of Canada's entry at the World Junior Championships earlier this year before leaving Colorado College nine days ago and signing with St. Louis, which picked him in the first round of the 2010 draft. Fowler evened it with his second goal in four games after a 45-game drought for the second-year defenseman, but Backes put the Blues back in front with a well-aimed shot to the top corner behind Hiller, who was screened by his own defenseman, Francois Beauchemin. Bonino darted from behind the net to score his sixth NHL goal on a power-play rebound in the second period. St. Louis took its third lead when Perron scored in the waning moments of a power play early in the third period, falling on his chest while batting home a strange rebound of Kevin Shattenkirk's shot. But Smith-Pelly scored a few minutes later, banging home Getzlaf's pass in front. NOTES: Hiller returned to the Ducks' net one game after his franchise-record streak of 32 straight starts ended in San Jose. The Swiss goalie has played in 68 of Anaheim's 75 games. ... St. Louis D Roman Polak missed his first game of the season. Polak left last Saturday's morning skate with a sore knee, but had played since. ... Schwartz's parents attended the game. ... Backes scored two goals in St. Louis' 3-1 home victory over Anaheim two weeks ago. He hurt his foot last Saturday blocking a shot, but played in his 186th consecutive game. ... C Jason Arnott returned to the Blues' lineup after taking a week off to recharge.
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