Blue Jackets knock off Blues 5-2

By R.b. Fallstrom

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, March 31 2012 9:05 p.m. MDT

St. Louis Blues' Kevin Shattenkirk, front, reaches for a puck after being tripped up by Columbus Blue Jackets' Colton Gillies, top, during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 31, 2012, in St. Louis.

Jeff Roberson, Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — R.J. Umberger scored twice, rookie goalie Allen York made it three wins in three career starts and the Columbus Blue Jackets made St. Louis need some help to clinch the Central division, knocking off the Blues 5-2 on Saturday night.

Jared Boll, Derek Dorset and Vinny Prospal also scored for Columbus, and York finished with 34 saves.

David Backes and David Perron scored for the Blues, who wrapped up their first title since 1999-2000 when Chicago beat Nashville 5-4 not long before the final horn in St. Louis. St. Louis leads the Western Conference with106 points.

The Blues had been 13-1-1 in their previous 15 at home since mid-January while outscoring opponents 43-16, before inexplicably struggling against a franchise that's last overall in the NHL. The Blue Jackets have won three in a row for just the second time this season, and handed the Blues just their fifth home loss of the season, and first in regulation since a 4-2 loss to Boston on Feb. 22.

The 22-year-old York has been subbing for injured Steve Mason and Curtis Sanford, and has allowed no more than two goals in all three of his starts. This time he bested a St. Louis lineup that was intact for the first time in 160 games since March 30, 2010, with forwards Andy McDonald (shoulder), Matt D'Agostini (concussion) and defensive Roman Polak (lower body) returning from injuries.

Umberger scored on an unassisted breakaway off Chris Stewart's giveaway in the second period, and Dorsett scored on a 5-on-3 power play for a two-goal cushion in the third with Kent Huskins, David Backes and Alex Pietrangelo all in the penalty box.

Prospal added an empty-net goal with 1:26 to go.

Notes: Among the Blues' scratches was D Carlo Colaiacovo, whose giveaway led to a goal Thursday night in a shootout loss at Chicago. ... Umberger has five goals the last three games and eight in his last six, including a hat trick against Carolina March 23. ... The crowd of 19,150 was the Blues' 23rd sellout.

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