Strong first period helps Blues double up Leafs
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - David Backes scored twice and St. Louis used an early three-goal barrage to take down Toronto, 6-3, at Scottrade Center.
Jaden Schwartz matched a career high with three points on a goal and two assists for the Blues, who have won three of four.
Derek Roy, Alex Steen and Chris Stewart also lit the lamp to back a 19-save effort from Brian Elliott.
Nazem Kadri, Nikolai Kulemin and James van Riemsdyk tallied for the Leafs, who suffered their third straight defeat.
James Reimer started, but was chased after giving up three goals on 15 shots in less than one period. Jonathan Bernier finished the contest with 18 stops.
"It looked like we were brain dead in a lot of areas," Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle stated bluntly.
All but out of the game and facing a four-goal deficit, the Leafs managed to make things interesting late. Kulemin beat Elliott on a shot from between the circles with 5 1/2 minutes to play, and Toronto pulled within 5-3 on a fluke chance by van Riemsdyk just over two minutes later.
Backes put any comeback hopes to rest, as he deposited his second of the night, a bank shot off the boards, into the empty net with 30 seconds to play.
Backes put the hosts on the board at 4:48 of the first with a low shot from the high slot, and Schwartz added a tally by picking up his own rebound and slipping the puck home from the right side with 7:01 on the clock.
Bernier came on for Reimer after Roy's marker -- a one-timer from a Stewart dish -- with 3:50 to play in the period gave the hosts a 3-0 edge.
"We really created a number of offensive opportunities," Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said.
Stewart made it a four-goal St. Louis margin with only 29 seconds gone in the second, then Kadri finally answered for the Leafs at 1:45.
It was 5-1 for the Blues just after the seven-minute mark of the third period when Steen deked a Toronto defender in the right circle and scored with a high wrister.
St. Louis improved to 13-2-2 on home ice ... The Blues have scored at least six goals in one game five times this season ... Toronto has won just once in its last nine road contests (1-5-3).
12/13 01:18:17 ET