The period featured six goals, five power-play opportunities and some ragged play from Blues goaltender Manny Legace. He failed to stop a breakaway by Klesla, allowed a short-handed goal to Dan Fritsche, missed Klesla's lazy shot that slowly slid into the left side of the net, and nearly caused a fifth Columbus goal.
Legace received mock cheers when he made an easy save with 3:46 left in the period. He was replaced by Curtis Sanford at the start of the third.
Bill Guerin gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead at 1:18 of the second, but Rick Nash tied it just under two minutes later. Keith Tkachuk restored the Blues' advantage at 8:12 but Klesla scored twice and Fritsche added his first of the season in between.
The three goals came in a span of 5:09. Nash's power-play tally came on his third shot in about 15 seconds during the shift and ended a nine-game drought. He hadn't scored since Oct. 9 against Phoenix.
Despite getting hit in the face with a high stick from Klesla, Tkachuk pushed the puck past Pascal Leclaire and gave St. Louis a chance to add to it as Klesla went to the penalty box.
The Blues didn't capitalize, and the Blue Jackets took over from there.
Legace escaped further damage on his biggest gaffe of the game. He tried to send the puck around the boards behind his own net but it stayed in the corner. He had to scramble back to the crease to stop two point-blank Columbus shots.
Notes: Klesla hadn't scored in 10 games. ... Legace faced 21 of the Blue Jackets' 29 shots. ... Blues D Barret Jackman (knee) played for the first time in 11 games and earned an assist on Tkachuk's goal. ... St. Louis scratched D Dennis Wideman (hand) for the second consecutive game. C Dallas Drake (lower body) missed his first game.