St. Louis Blues\' David Backes celebrates a breakaway short-handed goal in the second period. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Tom Gannam)
ST. LOUIS - T.J. Oshie started the day with an upset stomach and ended it with a clutch performance in a big win for the St. Louis Blues.
David Perron scored a power-play goal early in the third period and the Blues beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Thursday night. Perron and Oshie each had a goal and an assist for the Blues, who are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games as they try to get into the Western Conference playoffs.
Oshie missed the morning skate but fought off the effects of the flu hours later to turn in one of his strongest performances of the season.
His goal early in the second period ignited the Blues, and then he set up David Backes with a perfect pass for a short-handed goal that put them ahead 2-1.
"He's fun to watch when he's out there," Blues goalie Chris Mason said, "I'm glad he's on our side."
St. Louis, which moved to five games over .500 for the first time this season, has 79 points - one behind Anaheim and Nashville in the playoff race.
Mason stopped 21 shots for his first career victory over the Canucks in eight appearances. He played his 25th straight game and improved to 21-20-6 after a 3-13 start.
Backes added his 25th goal of the season, and Andy McDonald put the game away with a 5-on-3 goal with 34 seconds left.
Taylor Pyatt and Alex Burrows scored for Vancouver, which missed a chance to move within a point of Calgary atop the Northwest division.
Perron converted from close range off a pass from Keith Tkachuk 2:58 into the third period. Perron poked the puck into the lower left corner of the net for his 13th goal.
Backes' short-handed goal gave the Blues a 2-1 lead midway through the second. Oshie had tied the game three minutes earlier by faking goalie Roberto Luongo to the ice and sliding the puck into the net.
Perron sent Oshie in alone with a perfect pass. His 12th of the season was one of the most memorable in his short career.
"This one is up there for me," the rookie said. "Especially at this time of the year and in this situation. I did that move in college. I just waited Luongo out."
Burrows tied it 2-2 with his 25th goal midway through the second period. Burrows picked up a loose puck during a scramble in front and muscled it past Mason.
Vancouver jumped in front 1-0 on a goal by Pyatt 4:15 in. Pyatt fired a wrist shot between Mason's pads for his 10th goal.
The Canucks are fifth in the West, two points behind Chicago in a race for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
"We were strong the first five minutes," Luongo said. "Then it was the Blues the rest of the way."
St. Louis (35-30-9), which is a season-high five games over .500, has 79 points - one below the post-season cutoff in the West.
Notes: Luongo made his 18th consecutive start for Vancouver. ... The Canucks are 17-5-1 since Feb. 1. ... St. Louis is 10-4-1 since Feb. 24.