Joel Edmundson scored with 20 seconds left in the game to give the Blues a 4-3 win over the Ducks Friday night at Scottrade Center. (St. Louis Blues)

By Joe Harris, Special to

On a night of unlikely offensive stars, a most unlikely defensive pairing connected for the game-winning goal for Blues.

Joel Edmundson’s second goal of the season with 20 seconds left lifted the Blues to a 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. Edmundson credited Robert Bortuzzo, who along with goalie Jake Allen, got an assist on the tally.

“He rushed it all the way down to the corner and we made eye contact and he just sauced it across the ice and I was lucky enough to bury it,” Edmundson said. “I think there was a bit of traffic from our boys and that’s what we’ve been working on.”

Vladimir Tarasenko and Paul Stastny each had a goal and an assist and Ryan Reaves also scored for the Blues. Allen had 23 saves and Jaden Schwartz had a pair of assists for St. Louis, who won their third straight game.

Rickard Rakell, Chris Wagner and Jakob Silfverberg scored for the Ducks. Goalie John Gibson had 31 saves.

Edmundson's goal was his first since Jan. 5. He and Bortuzzo were paired together after Colton Parayko left with an undisclosed injury in the second period, leaving the Blues with just five defensemen.

“He’s obviously a huge part of our lineup in our back end, but I think the guys did a good job picking up minutes,” Bortuzzo said. “We all communicate pretty well together so changing pairs wasn’t the biggest deal, but it was definitely an adjustment.”

Blues coach Mike Yeo said it was Edmundson’s turn to step up.

“When you’re doing the right things and everybody’s playing the right way, then everybody will get their chance to be in the spotlight and everybody will get a chance to be the hero,” Yeo said. “Tonight was just his night.”

Yeo said Parayko was taken out of the game as “a precautionary measure” and that he’s questionable for tomorrow’s game against the Islanders. Jori Lehtera also left the game after getting hit in the face with the puck in the third, but returned to the Blues’ bench.

It took Tarasenko just 12 seconds to give the Blues a 1-0 lead. Tarasenko scored on a wrister from above the right circle, beating Gibson on the first shot he had seen in game action since Feb. 20.

“He's missed six games with a groin issue and we feel pretty good, he's had a pretty good year, but I didn't think he was as sharp as he's been and you could expect that in his first game back,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.

It was the quickest the Blues have scored in a game this season. The previous mark was set Dec. 17 when forward Patrik Berglund scored 41 seconds in at Chicago.

Rakell tied the score with 8:01 left in the first period. The goal was initially disallowed after forward Corey Perry made incidental contact with Allen, but Anaheim successfully used its coach's challenge to reverse the call.

“I thought and really worked ourselves into the game and we really had some good looks and good chances to win this game,” Rakell said.

Wagner made it 2-1 late in the first period, finishing a give-and-go by tapping a Jared Boll pass into a wide-open net.

Reaves banged home a rebound off a Schwartz shot to tie it at 4:17 of the second period. It was Reaves' first goal since Jan. 24.

While Reaves’ first goal in 17 games was noteworthy, the talk in the locker room was of his penalty shot early in the third period. Reaves, known more for his fists than his offensive prowess, was stopped by an old school poke check by Gibson.

“That was my move, that’s was the one I wanted to do, just no execution,” Reaves said. “I used my goal for the day so I can’t use them all up in one.”

It was Reaves’ first penalty shot since high school.

“It was pretty cool to get the crowd into it,” Edmundson said. “It was loud; it was pretty much like a playoff game in there when he was shooting.”

Stastny gave the Blues a 3-2 lead just 25 seconds into the third period. It was his second goal in three games and the second time the Blues scored within the first 25 seconds of a period against the Ducks.

Silfverberg tied the score with a power play goal nine minutes later. It was just the third power play goal for the Ducks in their last 15 games.