SAINT LOUIS – The Blues broke a powerplay funk, potting two powerplay goals in Tuesday night’s 3-2 win against the rival Detroit Red Wings. Goaltender Brian Elliott earned his 11th win of the year as he stopped 27 of 29 and the Blues moved to 2-0 against the Wings this season.
After a scoreless first period, Johan Franzen got the Red Wings on the board first in the second period. He walked right in front of the net and roofed the puck over Elliott’s glove while Detroit was on the powerplay. Alex Steen responded with a power-play goal for the Blues, beating Jimmy Howard off a critical faceoff win by Jason Arnott. The clubs headed into the third period tied at 1.
The Blues came out in the third period fired up. David Backes scored less than a minute into the third on a nifty set-up by T.J. Oshie. Jason Arnott fed the puck to Oshie low in the corner. Oshie skated out of the corner, drawing Jonathan Ericsson out of position. Then, Oshie fed the puck back-door to Backes who had an easy tip-in past Howard.
Patrik Berglund scored less than two minutes after that goal to put the Blues up 3-1. Berglund took a pass from Chris Stewart through the neutral zone and into the Wings’ defensive zone, firing a shot from the left wing circle that beat Howard cleanly.
Both goalies took a beating in the third period—initially, Elliott was knocked over by Justin Abdelkader. Abdelkader went to the box for roughing. Late in the third, David Perron would fall into Howard will crashing the net. Howard took offense, jumping on top of Perron behind the net. Perron received an interference penalty on the play.
On the ensuing Wings’ powerplay, the Winged Wheel pulled within one. After a tough shot and scramble in front, Daniel Cleary was able to slide the puck past Elliott. Despite pulling Howard and putting immense pressure on the Blues’ defense, the Red Wings were unable to tie the game by the end of the third.
The Blues improved to 9-2-3 under new coach Ken Hitchcock. The Blues take on the struggling Anaheim Ducks Thursday night at home. Game start is 7 p.m. CST and it airs on Fox Sports Midwest.
Odds & Ends
- Perron’s return has allowed Hitchcock to try new things with his lines. He’s moved Vladimir Sobotka to center and is trying Scott Nichol on right wing. When asked if Nichol has ever played wing, Hitchcock claimed, “I’m not sure. I haven’t asked him that…”
- Former Blues coach Davis Payne has accepted a position with the Blues organization to remain on the payroll—as a scout.
- Carlo Colaiacovo came back from IR Tuesday night after recovering from a hamstring injury. Outstanding prospect Ian Cole was a healthy scratch.
- Perron assisted Berglund’s GWG—he now has two points in two games this season.
- The Blues’ sale is moving forward, according to multiple reports. Matthew Hulsizer is still the primary buyer.