Red Wings Hold Off Blues’ Repeated Comebacks

The Detroit Red Wings took the lead four different times Friday night but the St. Louis Blues were only able to even things up three times, as Detroit picked up a 5-3 victory over the visiting Blues.

Kris Draper‘s shorthanded goal with 6:29 remaining in the third period was the first Detroit score to go unanswered by St. Louis. On a two-on-one with Draper, Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot that was partially stopped by goalie Manny Legace and Lee Stempniak, bouncing the puck into the air. Draper batted it into the net to give the Red Wings a 4-3 lead.

Dan Cleary would later add an empty net goal.

Henrik Zetterberg gave the Red Wings their first lead just 33 seconds into the game, skating through the left circle and cutting across the top of the crease before putting the puck past Legace.

Stempniak replied for St. Louis just 33 seconds later, wristing a shot from the right circle over the shoulder of Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek.

With Ryan Johnson in the penalty box for running Hasek, Tomas Holmstrom put Detroit back in front at 8:29 of the second, deflecting a blast by Lidstrom from the top of the left circle.

The Blues rallied once again when Johnson scored a shorthanded goal with 5:16 remaining in the second. Johnson took a pass from Dallas Drake to break in alone on Hasek, who came out of the crease to take away the puck. Johnson slipped a well-timed shot under him to put the game at 2-2.

Holmstrom’s second of the night gave the Wings another lead at 7:42 of the third. A series of quick passes from Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg put Holmstrom in on Legace and a quick one-handed move flipped the puck over the St. Louis goaltender and into the net.

Keith Tkachuk accounted for the Blues’ final comeback, deflecting a Dennis Wideman shot out of the air with what was determined not to be a high stick just 2:14 after Holmstrom’s goal.

Hasek finished the night with 24 saves on 27 shots against, while Legace stopped the same number of chances on 28 shots.

Detroit scored on one of their five power plays and St. Louis was held without a goal while skating with the extra attacker. Each team scored once while shorthanded.

The Red Wings’ next game will be Monday night in New York when they visit the Original Six rival Rangers.

Author: Clark Rasmussen

Clark founded the site that would become DetroitHockey.Net in September of 1996 with no idea what it would lead to. He continues to write for the site and executes the site's design and development.

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