Detroit at St. Louis (3/14/09)

The Red Wings travelled to St. Louis for this afternoon’s game against the Blues. Osgood was our goalie and for St. Louis it was Chris Mason. The best news of last few weeks was that Hossa was back in the lineup for today’s game. Maybe that will help the Red Wings get their focus back.

The Red Wings seemed to have some jump at the start of this game. Hossa looked just as good as ever. Osgood looked pretty confident in net. He was tracking the puck well even through crazy bounces and traffic in his face. On the down side there was a sequence or two where they couldn’t clear the puck from their own end. The Blues were fighting for a playoff spot so their motivation is high and it showed in their energy level.

St. Louis opened the scoring when Oshie shot from the slot area. The Blues were moving the puck around our zone with ease and the Red Wings were chasing them. The pass came to Oshie from behind the net. It went right by Brad Stuart who didn’t even reach for it. I guess he didn’t notice it in time to intercept the pass. Oshie ripped one that burned Osgood.

Early in the second period Detroit tied the game with a trademark goal. Datsyuk made a beautiful move to ditch his defender and then shot it. Holmstrom was in front of the net with his butt in Mason’s face. Mason wasn’t happy about it but there was no call.

Just 10 seconds of game time later Kopecky took a pass in deep and scored another one for the Wings. Filppula kept the puck in at the blue line then passed it Hudler. He immediately sent it to Kopecky and he put the puck through his defender and through Mason. The Blues took their timeout after that goal.

Just a few seconds after they came back from the timeout Lebda beat Mason over his glove hand. He barely even reacted. It looked like he was really rattled. That was the third goal in 46 seconds.

A few minutes later in the second period Woywitka scored to give the Blues their second goal. Osgood didn’t have much chance to stop the puck because he was in the process of being tackled by Backes. He took Ozzie’s legs out from under him and they all crashed into the net and knocked it off the moorings. The puck had crossed the line before the net came off but Osgood was hit before the puck arrived. I guess they didn’t call interference because they must have thought Backes was pushed.

Later Osgood was crashed into for the third time in a few minutes and he was hot about it. He was on top of somebody afterwards and wouldn’t let him up. He gave him an earful and was roughing him up a little bit under the pile. It almost looked like he was throwing some jabs. Osgood had a valid argument; they were running him like crazy and not getting called for it.

Very late in second period Datsyuk had the puck in the Blues end and there was a big crowd in front of the net. He waited for a hole to open and ripped one through all the traffic and the goaltender. That made it 4 to 2 in favor of the Wings and the scored held until the end of the period.

After the second period Mason got the hook. The backup Ben Bishop came in to take over the goaltending duties for the Blues.

Filppula also left the game after the second period and would not return. The announced reason was back spasms.

The Blues pressured hard especially for the final five minutes and Osgood made a ton of great saves. The Wings killed off a penalty during which the Blues changed goalies again. They put Mason back in. The theory was that they did that to buy some time for their power play unit to catch their breath. 

In the final two minutes the Blues pulled the goalie and almost immediately thereafter Zetterberg scored the empty net goal. That made it 5 to 2.

For some reason the Blues pulled the goalie again even though they were down by three with only a minute left. The Wings held them off to clinch a great win.

Well, this game showed what a big difference good goaltending can make. Osgood was probably the difference in this one. There were some defensive miscues but Osgood was there backing them up whenever needed. This was Ozzie’s 300th win as a Red Wing which puts him second all time behind Terry Sawchuck.

This 5-2 win brings us to:
45-15-9
99 points

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