Red Wings hold off Blues for 5-3 win
Saturday, March 12, 2011; 10:54 PM
ST. LOUIS -- Pavel Datsyuk scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period, one night after netting the overtime winner, and the Detroit Red Wings bounced back after squandering a two-goal lead and beat the St. Louis Blues 5-3 on Saturday night.
Jimmy Howard earned his NHL-leading 17th road win for Detroit, 4-1 against the Blues. The Red Wings have won two straight after a season-worst four-game losing streak.
Howard got both wins and is 17-3-2 on the road. He finished strong after giving up goals to David Backes and Matt D'Agostini that got the Blues even at 3 early in the third.
The Red Wings won 4-3 in overtime in St. Louis on Jan. 20 in similar fashion, blowing a 3-0 lead in the second period before regaining their footing.
Detroit appeared to be in control after two periods, leading 3-1 and holding the St. Louis power play to three shots in four opportunities. After Backes and D'Agostini scored in a span of 2:31 to tie it at 6:19, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock called timeout.
On the Blues' first shot of the final period, Backes scored from the left circle off a feed from Andy McDonald after shooting wide from his knees seconds earlier. D'Agostini's 15th goal came on a deflection of Kevin Shattenkirk's point shot.
Datsyuk skated around three defenders on the go-ahead goal, beating Jaroslav Halak at 13:13. Justin Abelkader added his fifth, beating the St. Louis defense in transition 1:20 later.
Adam Cracknell's first NHL goal, scored on a one-timer midway through the first period, gave the Blues their only lead. The Red Wings answered with goals 16 seconds apart by Ruslan Salei and Darren Helm.
Salei capitalized on Alex Pietrangelo's giveaway in the slot, scoring unassisted for his second goal of the season and first point in 14 games at 11:51. Helm, who beat the Blues with an overtime goal in January in St. Louis, got his 11th on a rebound for the lead at 12:07.
Niklas Kronwall made it a two-goal cushion on a power play late in the second, 9 seconds after Ryan Reaves was whistled for holding.
Notes: Blues public address announcer Tom Calhoun worked his 1,097th consecutive game, dating to 1987. ... Red Wings C Mike Modano played in his 1,487th game, tying Wayne Gretzky for 15th on the NHL career list. ... McDonald has four goals and four assists in five games. ... Blues D Nikita Nikitin left because of an undisclosed upper body injury in the first period.