By Christy Hammond
The Detroit Red Wings (42-14-8) completed their series sweep over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night with a 5-0 shutout, which was Chris Osgood’s first one this season and 48th of his career. In each of their four games against the Blues this season, Detroit scored four or more goals.
The scary part of the evening came when Marian Hossa crashed headfirst into the boards, and after a few minutes, was taken off on a stretcher. Since Hossa had just returned from an injury, they wanted to take every precaution to ensure his well-being. According to several reports, he was thoroughly tested at the local hospital and appeared to be okay. Head coach Mike Babcock told FSDetroit after the game that he believes Hossa will travel with the team to Denver.
Just over halfway into the first period, Aaron Downey made his presence known in the lineup by fighting Cam Janssen. The fight went on much longer than your usual hockey fight and both players were pretty winded by the time it was all over.
Tomas Kopecky scored his fifth goal of the season and third one in the past five games at 14:54 in the first period. His shorthanded marker was a beauty. After Pavel Datsyuk had stripped the puck from St. Louis on the Wings blue line and brought the puck up the ice, he fired a shot that seemingly bounced off a Blue and right to Kopecky who brought the puck towards the left side of the crease before making a nice move to his right and taking a nice backhanded shot beating goaltender Chris Mason. What was key about Kopecky’s goal is that it came during a near six-minute stretch of Detroit penalties so the fact that the Wings were able to kill off those penalties and even score a shorthanded goal really gave Detroit momentum.
Datsyuk would assist on the next Detroit goal as well, but this time on the man advantage. Johan Franzen and Datsyuk scrambled in front of the St. Louis net, trying to chip in the puck. It took Henrik Zetterberg to swoop in and pop the puck in 3:24 into the middle frame.
Detroit padded its lead just over four minutes later when Kris Draper tipped in a Kopecky backhander from the slot. In his first game with Detroit after being called up from Grand Rapids, defenseman Jonathan Ericsson earned an assist on the goal.
The Wings tallied their second power-play goal of the night at 10:54 in the third period. Niklas Kronwall scored his third goal of the season on a hard shot from the point. Jiri Hudler and Dan Cleary registered the helpers.
Valtteri Filppula scored the last goal of the game and his first marker in 19 games at 16:30. His last goal came against San Jose on Jan. 17. Kopecky earned his third point of the night — and second assist — on the goal. In the last five games, he has a 3-3-6 line. He’s doing a good job impressing Babs with his play as he fights to stay in the lineup for the postseason. Brad Stuart also earned an assist.
Osgood stopped 22 shots in the shutout. After the season he’s had and Saturday’s disappointing game in Nashville, the shutout win certainly had to feel good for Ozzie.
Detroit heads to Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night at 9 p.m.
Editor’s note: For out of market fans, tonight’s game will be offered via live online streaming on Yahoo! Sports. And, local Detroit fans are invited to join us tonight at 9 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings on Newburgh near Six Mile Rd. for an away game viewing party with the Red Wings season ticket holders.