The Detroit Red Wings were looking to defeat St. Louis on home ice and sweep the home-and-home against the Blues. After a shootout victory against the Blues on Tuesday, they came into tonight’s match-up looking for the win on home ice.
Detroit Red Wings goalie Magnus Hellberg was solid for the team on Tuesday, helping them keep fighting through three periods and overtime. He was also able to get it done in the shootout and keep the Blues from earning that second point.
Ville Husso was announced as being out day-to-day with an injury which meant Hellberg got the nod again tonight. The Red Wings called up Alex Nedeljkovic to serve as the team’s backup netminder, with Husso unable to dress.
The Red Wings fought, but a horrendous second period would be the death of them. The Blues capped off the win, and the Red Wings made it exciting but were unable to tie things up. Let’s get into the action from tonight’s contest.
Detroit Red Wings are unable to come back after the Blues rally.
The Detroit Red Wings water no time getting down to business. They were able to find the back of the net just 38 seconds into the game. It was a shot from the point from Simon Edvinsson that went off of the St. Louis Blues defender and was re-directed into the back of the net.
Edvinsson was not originally credited with the goal. It was Matt Luff who was thought to have re-directed it after Edvinsson kept it low to the ice and was able to get it re-directed into the back of the net and later get credit for his first NHL goal and point.
Not long after, Jake Walman roofed one over Joel Hofer’s shoulder to find the twine and score the Red Wings’ second goal of the evening. Walman caught a pass from Perron, corraled the puck as he skated in, and then let one rip for the tally.
After Edvinsson grabbed the goal, he was sent to the box for a penalty, and soon after joining the ice again, he was finding ways to get involved. The Red Wings youngster made his presence known early. He ended up stopping what would have been a breakaway for the Blues, intercepting the play, and getting a stick on the puck to disrupt the scoring chance.
The Red Wings’ offense was firing on all cylinders during the first period. They came out and harnessed the momentum early. They came out firing, creating scoring chances, and were even up 7-1 in shots at one point.
The Blues battled back, though. They finished the period with shots being 6-9, with Detroit leading. Blues defenseman Alexey Toropchenko let one rip from the point that beat Magnus Hellberg to make it a 2-1 game heading into the break.
The Blues took hold of the momentum at the end of the first period and controlled it in the second. They got a tip-in goal from Brayden Schenn in the second to tie things up at two. Schenn was on one leg with one skate in the air as he whacked at the puck to tip the puck down off the ice before it bounced up over the blocker of Hellberg.
He certainly seemed like no fault of Hellberg. He’d like to have that one back and get the block on it, but it was a funky bounce after the downward tip. Bounced pretty high off the ice, in my opinion.
Later, the Detroit Red Wings would allow another goal as Sammy Blais slipped behind the Red Wings’ defenders and was alone in front of the net. After a shot from the point, Blais was alone behind Olli Määttä and was able to send the rebound into the back of the net to beat Hellberg.
Frankly, the absence of the defenders in front of him left Hellberg out to dry. He made the initial save and was not able to recover and get to the rebound. After this, the Blues led 3-2, and head coach Derek Lalonde opted to pull the Red Wings netminder.
Alex Nedeljkovic was given a look and skated to the paint to get set between the pipes after taking over for Hellberg. The Blues would score soon after. A big rainbow pass from the defensive zone got to Jake Neighbours, who beat the Red Wings defenders.
He created the breakaway for himself, skated in on Nedeljkovic, and buried one five-hole between Nedeljkovic’s pads for the goal. That made things 4-2 in favor of St. Louis, who would hold onto the two-goal lead heading into the second intermission.
The third period had a lot of back and forth. The Detroit Red Wings came out and did a good job trying to keep the offense rolling and looking to create scoring chances. Both teams had things rolling, but the Red Wings did seem to have the upper hand, even after killing off penalties in the third.
A late scoring chance by Alex Chiasson caused a scrum in front of the net, and it resulted in a fight. Jordan Oesterle and Sean Walker exchanged some punches and took five-minute majors after their tussle.
The Red Wings would pull the goalie late and go for it with the extra attacker. None other than Mr. Power-play himself, who was able to pull the Red Wings within one. Alex Chiasson secured the goal with the 6-on-5 advantage, getting one past Hofer after burying from the front of the net.
The Red Wings continued to battle as the clock ticked down. It was a game of on/off for Alex Nedeljkovic, who was pulled, then returned for a face-off, then pulled again. Ultimately the Red Wings put the pressure on the Blues but fell short.
The Red Wings took a holding penalty with 3.1 seconds remaining, and that would seal the deal. The Red Wings would fall 4-3 to the Blues and split the home-and-home with St. Louis. They will be back in action against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon.