LOS ANGELES -- Davis Payne's first victory as an NHL head coach will be memorable for more than the obvious reasons.
Brad Winchester scored 14 seconds into the game after St. Louis started the wrong lineup, and the Blues snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night. David Perron, T.J. Oshie and B.J. Crombeen also scored in the Blues' first win in four games since Payne took over after the firing of Andy Murray.
"There are special wins along the way, and this no question is one of them," Payne said. "It's the thrill of a lifetime, and one I'll remember for quite some time. These guys battled hard, stuck to the game plan and did everything we asked of them. We were able to build enough of a cushion to get it done."
St. Louis grabbed a 1-0 lead after using a different starting lineup than the one Payne submitted to the official scorer. Brad Boyes was listed on the sheet to start at left wing, but David Perron was there instead and was still on the ice when the Blues scored.
"It was my fault completely. I botched that one 100 percent," Payne said. "We had a play called, and fortunately the puck ended up in the net. The problem was, I circled the wrong guy. The right guy was one line above, and I was one line off. I'm always paranoid about making sure that doesn't happen -- and sure enough, it happens here in the National Hockey League."
The goal was declared legal because Perron wasn't the one who scored. Carlo Colaiacovo, who had jumped over the boards with defense partner Mike Weaver just seconds after the opening faceoff, took a wrist shot from the left point that caromed off Winchester and past goalie Jonathan Quick's glove following a Kings turnover.
Wayne Gretzky made the same mistake in 2005 when he coached his second regular-season game with Phoenix, also in Los Angeles.
"If it's happened to him, it does make me feel a little bit better," Payne said with a laugh. "Obviously, it slipped through our checks, and we're going to make sure it doesn't happen again. But the team was resilient, and the penalty killers did a great job getting us through that and maintaining a 1-0 lead."
Chris Mason made 21 saves for the Blues, who outshot Los Angeles 32-24 two nights after the Kings had 51 shots in a 2-1 loss to Detroit. St. Louis is 12-5-4 on the road -- its best start away from home after 20 games in terms of points in the franchise's 42-year history.
"We are obviously disappointed about these last two losses," defenseman Drew Doughty said. "We came out flat after losing that heartbreaker the last game. We've got to come out even stronger, but we failed to do that and that's why we lost the game."
Brandon Segal scored his first NHL goal for the Kings, Jarret Stoll had a goal and two assists, and Rob Scuderi had two assists. Quick stopped 19 of 23 shots before he was pulled with 14:39 remaining when Crombeen's wrist shot gave the Blues a 4-1 lead.
"Fortunately we got that fourth goal, and we really needed it," forward David Backes said. "It wasn't picturesque, the way we finished the game out, but it was a win nonetheless and something we can build on going forward."
The Kings got back in the game on goals by Stoll and Anze Kopitar less than 4 minutes apart. Kopitar's 18th came on a power play. But the Blues, who have been outscored 51-35 in the third period over their last five games, managed to hold on this time.
"It's important for our team to turn the corner in the third period like that and stay strong," Winchester said. "We've got to take strides in winning third periods and closing games out. That's going to be imperative for us. It's all a part of our game plan and our structure. If we stick to the system and are accountable to each other, it makes things a lot easier."
Segal, playing in his 14th NHL game and 12th with Los Angeles, tied it at 6:09 of the second period. But the Blues, who blew leads twice at Anaheim in Thursday's 4-2 loss, took a 2-1 lead into the third after Perron scored his 12th goal 66 seconds before intermission.
"We've been having trouble all year in the third period, and sometimes it takes wins like this to turn it around," Perron said. "If we get a couple more like this, we'll get some momentum and some confidence."
Blues LW Paul Kariya missed his sixth game because of a concussion. LW Keith Tkachuk sat out his third after breaking teeth in a game against Chicago. ... The Blues have allowed only three goals in their last 58 short-handed situations on the road. ... Segal, a 26-year-old right wing, played two games last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He signed with the Kings on July 13. ... The Blues are 4 for 38 on the power play over nine games after going 4 for 5 at Edmonton on Dec. 21.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
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