The St. Louis Blues relied on a fast start to take the momentum from the high-scoring Atlanta Thrashers.

The visiting Blues scored the first goal 5:07 in and never trailed. Ty Conklin stopped 37 shots and St. Louis beat Atlanta last night, 4-2.

Alexander Steen gave St. Louis the lead with a goal late in the second period, but the Blues called the early goal by Brad Boyes the key to the win.

The Thrashers had scored first in 18 of 22 games and had won nine of 13 in games they led 1-0.

"It was very important," Conklin said of the first goal. "Both teams played [Monday] night, so momentum was important."

Each team played for the fifth time in 7 days. Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay thought his team lacked energy until the final minutes.

The Blues led 3-1 before Dustin Byfuglien scored for Atlanta with 7:23 remaining.

Atlanta's best chance to pull even came when B.J. Crombeen was called for slashing with 1:58 left. The Thrashers pulled goalie Chris Mason for an extra skater, but an empty-net goal by Vladimir Sobotka in the final minute clinched the win for the Blues.

"We were a step slow," Ramsay said. "You have to dig down and you have to find a way . . . We've got to find a way to get that energy reserve back up. There were times, stretches that we battled back, but we just didn't have that consistent push."

St. Louis won for only the fourth time in 13 games. Conklin, the backup to No. 1 goalie Jaroslav Halak, earned his fourth win of the season and second this week.

"We played a solid road game," Conklin said. "We didn't sit back. We were solid defensively. We didn't give them too much."

In other games:

* At Washington, Andrew Gordon had a goal and assist for his first two NHL points, and the Capitals earned their second straight victory by beating the New Jersey Devils, 5-1. Five players scored for the Capitals, who jumped back over Atlanta into first place in the Southeast Division.

* At Buffalo, Tyler Ennis scored two goals to lift the Sabres to a 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Ryan Miller, making his 11th straight start, earned his 199th NHL win. His shutout bid was spoiled when Corey Perry scored a power-play goal with 4:24 to go in regulation. Miller finished with 21 saves.

* At Columbus, Mathieu Garon made 29 saves in his debut as the No. 1 goalie for the Blue Jackets, who snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Calgary Flames, 3-1. Jakub Voracek, Jared Boll and Rostislav Klesla, scored for Columbus, which had only two wins in 12 games.

* At Dallas, Jamie Benn scored a shorthanded goal, Brad Richards added a power-play tally, and the surging Stars beat Montreal, 5-2.

Adam Burish, Karlis Skrastins and Loui Eriksson added goals for the Stars, 10-0-2 in their last 12 at home. Stephane Robidas had three assists, and Kari Lehtonen made 28 saves to help Dallas improve to 11-2-2 in its last 15.

Montreal's Carey Price, starting for the 10th time in 11 games, allowed all five goals on 17 shots.

* At Denver, Dustin Brown had two goals and two assists as the Los Angeles Kings blanked the Colorado Avalanche, 5-0.

Jonathan Quick made 23 saves to earn the shutout.

Kings left wing Marco Sturm, acquired from Boston earlier this month, was in the lineup after being activated from the injured list (knee).


* New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro and defenseman Mike Mottau have been placed on injured reserve. DiPietro sat out Saturday night's game against the Phoenix Coyotes because of swelling in his right knee. He is eligible to return after 7 days. Mottau will miss the rest of the season after hip surgery.