Boyd Devereaux scored his third goal of the season with just 2:23 remaining in the third period to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. The win puts Detroit two points ahead of St. Louis in the league standings and into sole possession of the Central Division lead.
The third period was dominated by each team's top two lines, neither the Blues nor the Wings willing to roll four lines with the game on the line. Devereaux came out with Kirk Maltby and Mark Mowers as Detroit's third line late in the game and made good on what little ice time was available. Defenseman Mathieu Dandenault pinched in to force a turnover near the bottom of the right circle anf got the puck to Devereaux, who deflected the puck between Blues goaltender and former Red Wing Chris Osgood's pads, giving Detroit the lead for the first time in the game.
St. Louis had opened the scoring just past the midway point of the first period. With the puck bouncing off a faceoff, Petr Cajanek had a clear lane to the net and blasted a shot past Detroit netminder Manny Legace.
The Wings escaped the period down only one after allowing 12 Blues shots and only taking five.
Former St. Louis captain Brett Hull tied the game with 4:48 remaining in the second period. Chris Chelios picked up the puck in the high slot and sent it to Hull who drifted to the top of the left circle. Osgood couldn't see around a screen and didn't know Hull had the puck, leaving a wide open net for him to blast a shot into.
After being outshot by seven in the first period, Detroit ended up with 28 shots to St. Louis' 22.
The win is Detroit's third in a row. They will next be in action on Wednesday, when Sergei Fedorov makes his first appearance at Joe Louis Arena since signing with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The following night they will be back in St. Louis for their third matchup of the season with the Blues.
Notes: Detroit and St. Louis have split the first two of the six games the teams will play against each other this season. Both teams won on the road... Boyd Devereaux's goal was his tenth career game-winner in just 35 career goals.
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