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Conklin, Blues hold off Thrashers, 4-2

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12 21 10 backes Conklin, Blues hold off Thrashers, 4 2

David Backes #42 of the St. Louis Blues carries the puck against Rich Peverley #47 of the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena on December 21, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NHLI via Getty Images)

ATLANTA (AP) — Ty Conklin stopped 37 shots, Alexander Steen gave St. Louis the lead with a goal late in the second period, and the Blues beat the Atlanta Thrashers 4-2 on Tuesday night.

The Blues led 3-1 before Dustin Byfuglien scored for Atlanta with 7:23 remaining.

Atlanta’s best chance to pull even came when B.J. Crombeen was called for slashing with 1:58 left. The Thrashers pulled goalie Chris Mason for an extra skater, but an empty-net goal by Vladimir Sobotka in the final minute clinched the win for the Blues.

Brad Boyes and Alex Pietrangelo also scored for St. Louis.

Bryan Little scored Atlanta’s first goal in the first period.

St. Louis won for only the fourth time in 13 games. Conklin, the backup to No. 1 goalie Jaroslav Halak, earned his fourth win of the season and second this week.

The Thrashers, fourth in the NHL in scoring, netted a combined 13 goals in wins over New Jersey and Toronto in their last two games before being shut down by Conklin and the Blues.

The Thrashers had earned points in 14 of 16 games to move into first place in the Southeast Division.

After Boyes’ goal 5:07 into the game, the Thrashers answered when Little scored from in front off a pass from Evander Kane.

Conklin shut down the Thrashers’ high-scoring attack the rest of the way.

Steen picked up his team-leading fifth game-winning goal of the season. Steen scored on a pass from Barret Jackman with 1:21 remaining in the second period to give the Blues a 2-1 lead.

A potential momentum-changing play came with 3:26 remaining in the opening period when an apparent goal by Byfuglien was disallowed. With the score tied 1-1, officials waved off Byfuglien’s goal because he directed the puck into the net with his arm.

Byfuglien was called for goaltender interference on the play, quickly turning Atlanta fans’ cheers to boos.

St. Louis was 0 for 4 on the power play and has only four goals in its last 31 chances with a man advantage.

NOTES: Conklin was in goal for the Blues’ 6-4 win at Los Angeles on Thursday. … The Blues are 3-7-1 in their last 11 road games. … The Thrashers fell to 10-7-2 at home. They have a better winning percentage (9-5-3) on the road. … F Niclas Bergfors was a healthy scratch for Atlanta for the sixth time in seven games.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press

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