DETROIT – David Backes scored a career-high four goals, including the go-ahead score with 4:07 left, in the surging St. Louis Blues’ 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.

Andy McDonald also scored, and Chris Mason made 34 saves to help the Blues jump from ninth to seventh in the Western Conference playoff race. The Blues are a point ahead of Nashville and Anaheim, with Anaheim facing Vancouver later Thursday night.

Nicklas Lidstrom had a goal and two assists, and Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall each had a goal and an assist for Detroit, which lost its third straight and fourth in five games. Ty Conklin stopped 28 shots.

Hurricanes 4, Rangers 2

RALEIGH, N.C. – Chad LaRose and Rod Brind’Amour scored 28 seconds apart late in the third period in Carolina’s club-record 10th straight home victory.

LaRose finished with two goals, and Eric Staal had a goal and an assist, and Cam Ward made 36 saves in his career-best 25th straight start.

The Hurricanes 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 one of the eight Eastern Conference playoff spots, jumping past idle Pittsburgh and Philadelphia into fourth place.

Canadiens 5, Islanders 1

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Saku Koivu scored the first of Montreal’s three power-play goals, and Alex Kovalev had three assists to help the Canadiens vault over the New York Rangers into seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Mathieu Schneider and fellow defenseman Andrei Markov also scored power-play goals – set up by Kovalev. Alex Tanguay and defenseman Mike Komisarek added goals, and Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves in place of Carey Price (flu).

Flames 2, Stars 1

DALLAS – Miikka Kiprusoff made 29 saves, and Jarome Iginla and Craig Conroy scored to help Calgary clinch 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. Calgary took a one-point lead over Vancouver for the Northwest Division lead, with the Canucks playing Anaheim later Thursday.

Rookie Fabian Brunnstrom scored for Dallas.


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