Detroit at St. Louis (2/9/10)

The Red Wings came into St. Louis tonight with something to prove after giving up a three goal lead on Saturday in Los Angeles. Jimmy Howard was in net for the Wings and for the Blues it was Chris Mason. The big news was that Franzen did indeed return to the lineup. That’s huge for the Wings; they really need him. Holmstrom was not able to go tonight so he was out of the lineup.

In the opening seconds of the game Bertuzzi was called for holding. The Red Wings did a good job killing off the penalty to avoid getting into trouble early.

Brad May and Brad Winchester dropped the gloves and went at it in the first period. Winchester had grabbed May’s jersey near the collar and was sort of shaking him and throwing a jab each time. May was throwing haymakers. I think May landed fewer punches but they were higher quality.

Between the early penalty kill and then the fight, the Red Wings had some momentum going.

Later in the first period there was a faceoff deep in the Blues’ end. Helm won it back to Ericsson at the point. He shot the puck as Draper skated through the crease behind Mason. The puck hit a few people along the way and then hit a few skates, the last one being Draper’s. It went into the net and Draper got credit for it. It was a lucky goal and a nice break for the Red Wings. It was later pointed out that the puck was dropped unfairly and should have been done over but that’s the breaks I guess.

The Blues had a power play at the end of the period and then a huge push after the Wings killed it off. The Red Wings weathered the storm and held the Blues off the board. The Blues had almost double the shots on goal as the Red Wings did so they were very lucky to have the lead.

In the second period Detroit had just finished a power play when the Blues took over. Perron came out of the box and got the puck at the point. He made a few moves on his defender and shot the puck. Kariya was in front of the net causing havoc. It looked like it hit Jason Williams and redirected slightly. It was just enough to put it in the back of the net and tie the game at one each.

Late in the second period there was a hooking call coming to Detroit which I felt was very nitpicky. Before the Red Wings could touch the puck the Blues had a couple of shots at it. Kariya had gone to the front of the net and the puck just happened to bounce right to him. He banged it home and gave the Blues the lead late in the period.

In the third period Cleary was called for holding as he was losing his balance and falling down. On the power play Johnson skated into the Red Wings’ end. It looked like he was going to pass all the way across the ice and that’s what Howard was expecting. Howard started to move across the crease but the puck didn’t go very far. Instead of crossing the ice it was deflected into the net by McDonald. That made it three to one St. Louis.

After that the Red Wings amped up the pressure. Jason Williams had an amazing chance at a wide open net and Colaiacovo got his stick in the way. It was a perfect shot but just bad luck for Williams. Then Stuart chipped one up that almost came down behind Mason but it landed on top of the net instead.

The push didn’t last long though as St. Louis went on a power play and then really started playing with a lot of jump. The Red Wings weathered that storm and then pushed back.

Franzen sent the puck across hoping to connect with Datsyuk in the middle. The puck went all the way across the ice where Zetterberg picked it up and centered it again. The puck hit Datsyuk’s skate and redirected into the net. That brought the Wings back to within a goal.

Late in the third period Detroit was pressuring again. Rafalski made a great move to avoid his defender and keep the puck in the zone, and then he got it to Filppula down low. Filppula threw it to the front of the net where Bertuzzi was literally being covered by every single Blues player on the ice. There was a huge scrum in front of Mason and somehow through all of that the puck trickled across the goal line. Filppula got credit for the game tying goal. There was a lot of contact with the goaltender but it wasn’t Bertuzzi’s fault since he was being shoved and hammered by Blues players.

The tie held until the end of regulation so it was time for some four on four action. Unfortunately, although it was wild and crazy, nothing could be decided in the overtime so it was on to another shootout. I’m really starting to get tired of shootouts and three point games.

St. Louis went first in the shootout and McDonald was first up for them. He came in with speed and Howard came way out to challenge and stopped him. Datsyuk was first for Detroit. He went back and forth with it and lost control at the last second. He still got his shot away but missed the net. Oshie was next and he scored through Howard’s five hole. Then Williams came up for the Wings and made a sweet move and scored high on the short side. Boyes was up next and he totally faked out Howard and put the puck around his outstretched pad. Zetterberg was next but he was stopped by Mason so St. Louis won the game.

This game was strange. The Red Wings played well at times and poorly at other times. All of their goals were either ugly or lucky or both. Mason played a great game which made it tough. It was awesome the way the Red Wings fought back to tie the game but frustrating that they were in that position in the first place. Oh well, they got a point and that’s better than nothing.

This 3-4 overtime loss brings us to:
27-21-11
65 points

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