DETROIT - Not even David Backes could explain what happened.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound winger 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. "I don't know what happened," said Backes, who also had his first hat trick. "One of those games where you kind of black out and then they're patting you on the back."
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 behind sixth-place Anaheim and one ahead of eighth-place Nashville.
"We just battled in the third period," Mason said. "It was back and forth and we got the two points."
St. Louis rebounded from a 3-1 loss in Chicago on Wednesday night that snapped its winning streak at five games.
Nicklas Lidstrom and Niklas Kronwall each had a goal and two assists and Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen both had a goal and an assist for Detroit, which lost its third straight and fourth in five games.
Ty Conklin stopped 28 shots.
"Obviously, the job I'm doing here, the team is not ready," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "So, myself and the leadership group here, as a group of individuals, we've got to do better than this.
"This is unacceptable."
Backes broke a 4-4 tie with his 30th goal of the season, scoring on a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle.
"We felt that David had the potential to be a 30-goal scorer," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "But we didn't think it would happen here in Detroit."
Kronwall tied it at 4 with 4:43 left on a slap shot from the point.
Franzen made it 4-3 with a spectacular effort at 3:52. He made a move and jumped around St. Louis defenceman Mike Weaver in the slot, then beat Mason as he was falling to the ice for his 33rd goal.
Lidstrom tied it at 2, with a power-play goal 1:13 into the third period. His 14th goal came on a slap shot from the point.
But Backes' third goal, just 24 seconds later, restored the Blues' one-goal lead. He beat Conklin from the slot after a mix up between Conklin and defenceman Jonathan Ericsson behind the Detroit net.
McDonald's power-play goal 2:53 into the third made it 4-2. He tipped in T.J. Oshie's shot from the point.
"Mad is an interesting word. Frustrated is a waste of time," Babcock said. "I'm just telling you I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed in the job I'm getting done here. I'm disappointed in the group right now.
"This is very un-Red Wing-like."
The Blues took a 2-0 lead in the middle period on Backes' first two goals.
He opened the scoring at 6:02 when he slammed in a one-time shot from the slot off a pass from Brad Winchester, who was behind the net.
Backes' second goal came at 9:26 when he put in a rebound off the back boards.
Datsyuk put Detroit on the board with 5:17 left in the second with his 31st goal. He tipped in Lidstrom's shot from the left point.
Notes: Chris Chelios is Detroit's nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy, which goes to the player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey." Chelios is the NHL's oldest player at 47. Only Gordie Howe, at 52, played when he was older. ... B.J. Crombeen is St. Louis' Masterton nominee. The rookie has diabetes. ... Red Wings' D Brian Rafalski missed his second game because of a sore groin. ... Lidstrom's goal moved him past Hall of Famer and former Red Wing Larry Murphy for seventh place in power-play goals by defencemen with 115. Murphy is a Detroit television analyst. ... The Blues beat the Red Wings for the first time in six games this season.