Blues keep falling backward

– Radim Vrbata scored his 31st goal and had an assist, and Eddie Lack made 23 saves as the Vancouver Canucks opened a four-game trip with a 4-1 victory over the struggling St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

Zbynek Michalek scored for the Blues, who never led and missed a chance to clinch a playoff spot with a victory.

St. Louis has lost two consecutive at home, has one win its past six games and remained one point shy of a seventh 100-point season.

Nick Bonino netted the go-ahead goal midway through the second period, just 31 seconds after the Blues tied it on Michalek's first goal since Jan. 31.

"We gave up so many chances and so many breakaways and odd-man rushes, it's ugly to look at," Michalek said.


•LIGHTNING MAKES PLAYOFFS: Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop had two assists on second-period breakaways, Vladislav Namestnikov scored two goals, and the Lightning clinched a playoff berth with a 5-3 victory over the Canadiens in Montreal. Bishop, who made 25 saves, is the first goalie with two assists in a game since Buffalo's Ryan Miller did it on Feb. 25, 2014. Montreal goalie Carey Price fell short of tying Jacques Plante and Ken Dryden for the Canadiens' record of 42 wins in a season.

•HAWKS ROUT KINGS: Defensemen Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson scored 1:04 apart in second period as the Blackhawks defeated the Kings 4-1 in Chicago. The Blackhawks pulled within a point of the second-place Blues in the Central Division. Chicago plays St. Louis twice in its final six games.

•OUT EARLY: Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen was pulled after giving up three goals within a span of 6:49 in a 5-3 loss to the Flames in Dallas.

•OILERS END SLIDE: Justin Schultz's tiebreaking goal in the second period helped the Oilers end a five-game road losing streak by beating the Avalanche 4-1 in Denver.