By Christy Hammond
St. Louis Blues forward David Backes scored a career-high four goals to give St. Louis its first win over the Detroit Red Wings this year, concluding the season series with a 5-1 record.
After Backes registered two markers just over three minutes apart in the second period, Pavel Datsyuk got the Wings on the board at 14:43 in the middle frame. Datsyuk threw the puck right through the goal crease from his position along the bottom right boards. Captain Nicklas Lidstrom rifled a shot from the left point, allowing Datsyuk to tip in the shot past goaltender Chris Mason.
Lidstrom would tie the game up at two goals apiece 1:13 into the third period while on the power play. Defensive partner Niklas Kronwall pushed the puck to Lidstrom, who held onto the puck for a couple strides before launching another shot from the left point. This time, his shot beat Mason on the left side without a need for a tip or deflection.
Unfortunately, Backes scored his third goal of the game a mere 24 seconds later to snap the tie. Less than a minute and a half after Backes’ hat trick tally, Andy McDonald padded the St. Louis lead with the man advantage.
An absolutely gorgeous goal by Johan Franzen 59 seconds after the McDonald goal restored some hope to the Joe Louis faithful. Kronwall fed a pass to the Mule, who was rushing up center ice. As he entered the St. Louis zone, he tried to deke past a Blue near the inner hashmarks of the right circle. As the defensemen fell, Franzen also lost his balance but somehow managed to get off a shot as he fell to the ice, resulting in his 33rd goal of the season.
Kronwall posted his 50th point of the season when he scored a goal at 15:17 of the third period. Franzen sent a pass to Kronner from along the left boards. Kronwall snagged the puck along the left point and then backed up closer to the center before sending a hard slap shot at Mason.
As before, Backes was determined that the Blues would win this game and scored his 30th goal of the season, which stood as the game-winning tally, less than 40 seconds after Kronner’s marker.
Ty Conklin made 28 saves in the loss.
Detroit will remain at home as they prepare to host the Minnesota Wild on Sunday afternoon. The first 5,000 kids, 14 years old and under, at the game against the Wild will receive a plush Al the Octopus, courtesy of Fox 2 News.