By Christy Hammond
The Detroit Red Wings (23-6-4) came right out of the gate and played strong, competitive hockey until the final buzzer sounded. It was great to see the Wings play a full 60-minute game even if it was against the injury-depleted St. Louis Blues (13-18-3).
Detroit scored two goals apiece in the each of the first two periods before finally giving up a goal to St. Louis in the final frame of action. Three of the Wings’ four goals come courtesy of the special teams (two power-play goals and one shorthanded goal).
The first goal of the game came 5:03 into the first when captain Nicklas Lidstrom sent a pass flying from the right point to the top of the left face-off circle where Pavel Datsyuk took a hard wrist shot beating former Red Wings goalie Manny Legace. Datsyuk had a little help down front with Tomas Holmstrom screening Legace on the play.
Lidstrom followed it up at 10:21 with his own goal on a classic blast from the high slot to convert on a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity for Detroit. Special teams shined again when the Wings successfully killed off a 5-on-3 of their own doing in the remaining 1:18 of the first period. Goaltender Ty Conklin had a strong game with 33 saves and he definitely came up huge in that penalty kill late in the first.
6:59 into the second, Holmstrom tipped in defenseman Brad Stuart’s shot from the point to give Detroit its only even strength goal of the night.
Easily the most gorgeous goal/play of the came was when Marian Hossa hit Jeff Woywitka in the Blues’ zone, then beat Roman Polak to the puck along the boards before sending a perfectly timed pass to Datsyuk, who made a Datsyukian deke to the right to fool defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and then went to his left and beat Legace. What made this goal even better was the fact it came on the Blues power play and that Datsyuk fooled a defenseman like he would a goalie on a shootout. Always great to see. Datsyuk now has five goals and ten points in just the last four games.