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PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma wants his high-powered team to get used to playing tight-checking playoff hockey before the post-season begins next month. St. Louis doesnt need the lure of the playoffs as an excuse to get stingy. The space-eating Blues have been doing it all year, and it showed in a taut 1-0 road win on Sunday. Frustrating the NHLs best power play during a pivotal two-man disadvantage at the start of the second period, the Blues continued their mastery of the Eastern Conference by beating the Penguins the way theyve beaten so many teams this season. The room to manoeuvr that Pittsburgh stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin usually enjoy disappeared as St. Louis clogged passing lanes and dictated play defensively. David Backes deflected a slap shot by Alexander Steen past Marc-Andre Fleury midway through the third period for the games only goal and Brian Elliott stopped 33 shots to pick up his fourth shutout of the season as the Blues moved three points clear of Chicago in the race for the best record in the Western Conference. "When youre in a tight game like that against a good team, the guys kind of rose up to the challenge and I tried to make a couple saves and get the rebounds out of the zone and they did the rest," Elliott said. Fleury made 26 saves for the Penguins but watched Backes deflection carom off his glove and into the net just after a penalty against Malkin expired. "I just saw the guy raise his stick for the shot," Fleury said. "There were a bunch of people in front. I tried to cover some net but I didnt see it go in. St. Louis bounced back from a one-sided loss at Philadelphia on Saturday to improve the leagues best road record to 23-11-3. Pittsburghs top-ranked power play went 0-for-5 a day after scoring three times in a win over Tampa Bay. When Elliott wasnt getting a pad on the puck, his teammates were. The Blues blocked 25 shots, with the Penguins frustration growing at every turn as the Blues improved to 20-5-2 against the Eastern Conference, the best interconference record in the league. Pittsburgh had a 5-on-3 power play at the beginning of the second period for more than 90 seconds without being able to sneak something by Elliott. Most of the time the Penguins struggled generating a shot as the Blues effectively disrupted Pittsburghs rhythm. "We just kind of cleared lanes and I was able to see the ones they took," Elliott said. "Whenever guys are moving big guys out of the way, it just helps and you saw guys get in front of shots, block them and clear them down." Malkin was called for high-sticking 9:17 into the third and he was barely out of the box and back on the ice when Backes gave St. Louis the lead. The puck cycled to the point and Alexander Steen fired a slap shot that Backes found a way to nick as it sailed by. His 24th goal of the year proved more than enough. Elliott wobbled several times — including at least two saves where it appeared the puck was creeping to the goal line when the whistle blew — but didnt collapse. When the clock expired after one last clear up the zone, the game ended with the unusual sight of Malkin trying to mix it up with Alex Pietrangelo. Bylsma said coming into an important weekend he wanted his team to get used to playing tightly contested, low-scoring games. Pittsburgh survived one on Saturday, rallying for a 4-3 overtime win against the streaking Lightning that featured 40 minutes of clamp-down hockey and 22 minutes of frantic play. The Blues, who have positioned themselves into contenders in the West by sealing off the net, would not be lulled into the kind of end-to-end stretches that allow the Penguins to run free. "We still want to do a better job in these games and win them," Crosby said. "We have done a pretty good job of being patient when weve been in these kinds of games." At times, Bylsma wonders if his club was too patient, particularly in the first period. "The first 20 minutes we backed them off with speed," he said. "We had some opportunities and needed to have more of a drive and shoot mentality." NOTES: The Penguins played with seven defencemen instead of six, a move Bylsma said was needed in a game where he knew open ice would be at a premium. ... St. Louis plays in Toronto on Tuesday while the Penguins host Phoenix on Tuesday. Roger Craig Jersey . -- Pelicans coach Monty Williams does not expect guard Eric Gordon to play in any of New Orleans final five games this season. Mike Wilson Jersey . The Maple Leafs will play on the road for the first time this season after dropping home contests to Montreal and Pittsburgh to begin the campaign. After losing a one-goal decision to the Canadiens on Wednesday, they were bested 5-2 on Saturday by the Penguins. http://www.custompatriotsjersey.com/custom-lamar-mchan-jersey-large-1221f.html . Right-hander Todd Redmond took the loss. Jose Bautista hit his second home run of the spring. Here are a handful of tidbits from around camp: Hutchison impressive The Blue Jays are being cautious when talking about their young arms but internally, excitement is building over the way Drew Hutchison is looking and performing this spring. J. D. Smith Jersey .com) - The fading Ottawa Senators have a chance to make up some ground in the playoff race on Tuesday night as they play host to the New York Rangers. Randy Moss Jersey . - Rookie Tesho Akindele scored three goals and Fabian Castillo added two in FC Dallas 5-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Terry Francona likened the atmosphere at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday to a playoff game in October. The crowd was into it. Every pitch mattered. The Indians manager is hopeful the outcome will propel his team into the actual playoffs. Asdrubal Cabrera drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, and Cleveland rallied off the stingy Kansas City Royals bullpen for a 5-3 victory Tuesday night that evened their series. The win allowed the Indians to remain a half-game back of Texas and Tampa Bay in the AL wild-card race. The Royals are 3 1/2 games adrift after the Rangers beat the Rays earlier in the night. "That was a fun game to be part of, two teams that really want to win bad were competing a lot," Francona said. "We did enough to win." The Indians were shut out until the sixth by Yordano Ventura, who made an electric major league debut. They tied the game 3-all in the seventh off reliever Kelvin Herrera, and Cabreras double off Wade Davis (7-11) in the eighth scored Drew Stubbs and gave Cleveland the lead. Michael Bourn added a homer in the ninth to provide a cushion. "Its not always going to be pretty but we have to find a way to get it done," said Nick Swisher, whose sacrifice fly in the seventh tied it. "We have a scrappy group in here, and were not done. Were going to keep pushing because we want this. We want it bad." Cody Allen (6-1) was among six Indians relievers who kept Kansas City off the scoreboard the final 4 1-3 innings. Chris Perez handled a perfect ninth for his 25th save. "It happens sometimes," Royals catcher Salvador Perez said of the collapse. "We have to keep going, keep playing hard through the last day of the season." Ventura had already been saddled with the nickname "Ace" before Monday night, but in the first inning he looked more like a different film character: Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn. He erratically walked Bourn on four pitches to lead off the game, and earned a roar when he finally threw a strike to Nick Swisher. The roar grew when Ventura got him to ground into a double play, and reached a crescenddo when he struck out Jason Kipnis to end the inning.dddddddddddd The 22-year-old flame-thrower settled in after that, mixing his curveball and changeup with straight gas that touched 101 mph on the radar gun at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals gave him a lead on Hosmers double in the first inning. They added two more in the third, thanks in large part to Emilio Bonifacio getting into the head of starter Corey Kluber. After a single, Bonifacio swiped second even as Kluber tried to pick him off. Bonifacio kept dancing around second base, and the Indians right-hander proceeded to walk Hosmer and Billy Butler to load up the bases. Salvador Perezs sacrifice fly and Mike Moustakass double made it 3-0. The Indians finally started to rally in the sixth. Swishers single and a pair of two-out singles by Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley made it 3-1 and drove Ventura from the game -- he received a standing ovation. Cabrera walked to load the bases before Ryan Raburn struck out. It may have been a wasted opportunity, but Cleveland atoned for it the next inning. Yan Gomes was plunked in the back by Herrera, and then Bourn ripped an RBI triple into the gap. Swisher followed with a sacrifice fly to left field that knotted the game 3-all. "The hit batsman was crucial at that point with Bourn coming up and hitting a triple right behind it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Those are things late in the season in games of this magnitude you really want to try to stay away from." Those are the things that set the stage for Cabrera to finish off the comeback. "Tonight was one of the more gratifying wins," Francona said. "We kept fighting, and thats a good feeling to be part of that, and watch those guys do that." Notes: The Royals made roster space for Ventura by placing 1B Carlos Pena (appendectomy) on the 60-day DL. ... Indians RHP Justin Masterson (left oblique) hopes to throw a bullpen session Friday. ... Royals affiliate Omaha beat Rays affiliate Durham 2-1 to win the Triple-A title. ... Royals LHP Bruce Chen and Indians RHP Danny Salazar meet in the series finale Wednesday. ' ' '