Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 3/17/12

SUNRISE, FL - JANUARY 26: Goaltender Jaroslav Halak #41 of the Montreal Canadiens prior to the game against the Florida Panthers on January 26, 2010 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Canadiens 2-1. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The St. Louis Blues are headed to the postseason. Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves, Jaden Schwartz scored his first NHL goal, and the Blues beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 to clinch a playoff berth Saturday night. "It's the first step," St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We're proud of that. We're really happy with it, and we continue down that path." Halak had an in-close stop on league goals leader Steven Stamkos in the first, and made a glove save on Brett Connolly during a second-period breakaway. "It's great, but I don't think anybody is focusing on the playoffs," Halak said. "We have work to do. We've got nine games left in the season, and we have to get as many wins as we can. We have to do our job, and I'm sure everybody realizes that." Halak came within about four minutes of getting his 23rd career shutout in his 200th NHL game. Schwartz, taken 14th overall in the 2010 entry draft and making his NHL debut, put St. Louis up 2-0 from just outside the crease on the power play with 35.5 seconds left in the first. "It was pretty special," Schwartz said. "It's something you dream about. I'm just happy that I could come in and help get the win." Patrik Berglund and David Perron also scored for the Blues, who became the first NHL team (46-19-8) to reach 100 points this season. Brendan Mikkelson got a late third-period goal for Tampa Bay, which is seven points behind eighth-place Washington in the Eastern Conference. The Blues were without left wing Andy McDonald, who hurt his right shoulder in Thursday's game against Carolina and is week-to-week. Berglund put the Blues ahead 1-0 on a short-handed goal from the slot off a nice pass by Alex Pietrangelo during a 2-on-1 at the 15-minute mark of the first period. "We didn't get the result in the first period we wanted," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. "Having said that, 5-on-5 in the first period we gave them zero scoring chances. They're the best team in the league. It's tough to be better than that 5-on-5." Tampa Bay has allowed 11 short-handed goals this season. The Lightning, on the other hand, have scored just once while being short-handed. Perron made it 3-0 when he beat Dwayne Roloson from the right circle 2:47 into the second. "We needed the lead, we got it, and we're tough with a lead," Hitchcock said. "We got a power-play goal, we got a shorty, and we got a 5-on-5 goal, and when you do that on the road that's good stuff." Mikkelson got his first NHL goal, coming in his 116th game, with 4:11 to play. "It's more of a relief," Mikkelson said. "It's taken me way too long to get that first one. It's disappointing that we weren't able to turn that into a little bit more of a rally." St. Louis won both games between the teams this season, outscoring Tampa Bay 6-1. NOTES: Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier (hand) missed his 13th consecutive game. ... St. Louis C Jason Arnott was rested. ...The Lightning recalled C Trevor Smith from Norfolk of the AHL with C Nate Thompson out because of an upper-body injury. ... Tampa Bay is finalizing a contract with G Sebastien Caron, who has been playing in Germany. The move would allow the team to return rookie G Dustin Tokarski, called up after starting G Mathieu Garon was sidelined by a groin injury on March 6, to Norfolk. ... Tampa Bay RW Ryan Shannon left with an upper body injury. ... St. Louis C T.J. Oshie had two assists.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker