Alex Nedeljkovic Stands Tall in Red Wings’ 4-2 Win over St. Louis

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The Detroit Red Wings faced the St. Louis Blues for the first time in nearly two years. Would it fare better than the 5-4 OT loss that saw them lose their eighth straight game back in 2019?

Lucas Raymond netted his eighth of the season while Dylan Larkin added his tenth goal of 2021-22 as the Red Wings slipped past St. Louis 4-2 in a game that saw Alex Nedeljkovic make one impressive save after another to snap Detroit’s four game losing streak.

The first period saw Detroit trail 1-0 but Raymond would tie it to get the Wings even. The first period actually ended evened up in shots at 11 and after a layoff of four days, the Red Wings didn’t look as rusty as they could have.

St. Louis had an early chance in the second period but the puck went off the heel of the stick and Alex Nedeljkovic swiped it away to keep the score knotted at one. Pius Suter later in the period would shut down a two-on-one that could have resulted in a golden scoring chance. The Red Wings looked flat in the second period until a broken play in the corner saw Robby Fabbri bank one of the net, which appeared like Zadina subtly backhanded to Larkin which was instantly deposited into the net for a Red Wings 2-1 lead.

Zadina was within a whisker of a goal when his open look was kicked away, showing again just how snake bitten he seems to be when it comes to scoring.

Nedeljkovic would come up huge later when the Blues’ Ryan O’Reilly was sprung on a great stretch pass. O’Reilly went backhand but the Wings netminder was able to glove it and close out a great scoring chance for the Blues. The period wound down at the same score after Larkin’s goal, giving Detroit a 2-1 advantage heading into the second intermission.

The down point? Detroit was outshot significantly in the second period 11-3, and chased for most of the period. A one goal lead heading into the third certainly seemed like a bonus. In the third, David Perron scored within the first couple minutes, banking a shot off Nedeljkovic’s pads that tied the game at two. Seconds later, Pius Suter rang one off the post, coming so close to giving the Red Wings the lead back.

Jordan Oesterle broke up a two-on-one chance for St. Louis, causing an errand scoring chance that kept the score knotted. But Adam Erne would score just over five minutes in, snapping one through traffic that put the Red Wings back up 3-2.

Nedeljkovic would then rob two unbelievable Blues chances, earning the roar of the Little Caesars Arena crowd and showing again, that Steve Yzerman knows what he’s doing when it comes to trades. 

Detroit would then have to kill two penalties, both of which successful, both of which seeing timely saves and great defensive play to keep the one goal advantage.

Both teams traded chances late in the third before the Red Wings fought off a 6 on 5 starting with about two minutes left. But Robby Fabbri chased down a puck that hopped out of the zone, and flung it in the yawning net, giving Detroit a 4-2 lead. Fabbri also loudly rooted on that goal, which was pretty epic to see as the crowd screamed with approval.

The win snapped Detroit’s four game losing streak, and knocked off a quality opponent, while seeing Nedeljkovic continue to cement his status as the Red Wings’ goalie of the future.

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