The people complaining about scoring being down in the NHL obviously aren’t watching the Red Wings””tonight they made the offense look easy. Kirk Maltby, Henrik Zetterberg, and Ray Whitney all scored their tenth goals of the season tonight, contributing to a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues.
Maltby opened the scoring shorthanded with 8:22 left in the first period. Darren McCarty was in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct, but it looked like Detroit was the team on the power play. Steve Yzerman couldn’t get a clean shot away in front of the net, but Maltby was trailing. He grabbed up the puck, deked around goaltender Reinhard Divis, and slid the puck in low.
Zetterberg increased the Wings’ lead with a power play goal early in the second. Whitney shot the puck towards the net, where Brett Hull was waiting to deflect it. The puck dropped just to the side of the goalie’s skate, and Zetterberg was right there to tap it into the net.
Manny Legace was strong in net for Detroit, showing his skills with the catching glove by making a breakaway save against Ryan Johnson a couple of minutes after Zetterberg’s goal.
It took a redirection for the Blues to finally beat Legace; Doug Weight deflected a tight angle shot by Keith Tkachuk at 14:38 to put the Blues within one goal.
Zetterberg brought Detroit back up to a two-goal lead with another power play goal late in the period. It was very similar to his first goal: Mathieu Schneider sent the puck deep into the zone, Whitney centered it, and Zetterberg tapped it past Divis.
The Red Wings didn’t sit back on their lead in the third period. Zetterberg and Steve Thomas set McCarty up for a wrist shot which beat Divis to the right side. Whitney capped off the scoring by one-timing a pass by Hull from the slot into the top corner of the net.
Detroit pretty much outplayed St. Louis all night: they outshot the Blues by 38 to 26, won 40 of 58 faceoffs, and killed off five St. Louis power plays.
The Red Wings start a road trip through the Northwest Division after tonight, beginning with a game against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.
Jason Woolley sat out his second game in a row with a sore back. Woolley is expected to return during the road trip…. Curtis Joseph will travel with the team and is expected to begin skating on his healing right ankle sometime next week…. The Red Wings have held their opponents scoreless in the first period for their past five games straight.