The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 2-1 decision to the St. Louis Blues Tuesday night, but avoided further loss when defenseman Niklas Kronwall was able to finish the game after taking a hit from behind by Chris Stewart.
Kronwall left the game in the first period after Stewart sent him dangerously into the boards with 8:46 remaining. He would return to start the second period, however.
Stewart was ejected for the hit and given a five-minute penalty for checking from behind.
The Red Wings, leading at the time of the hit, seemingly lost focus during the long power play. They failed to score on it and managed only four shots in seven total minutes of time with the extra attacker in the opening period.
The Blues scored on their first power play shot of the game with 2:41 remaining in the period, as Matt D’Agostini snapped a shot from the slot over a sprawling Jimmy Howard.
Alexander Steen gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead just past the midway point of the second period. Johan Franzen’s no-look backhand clearing attempt landed on Steen’s stick at the blue line and he carried the puck up to the top of the left faceoff circle to fling the puck past Howard.
Justin Abdelkader had opened the game’s scoring at 6:07 of the first, throwing the puck to the front of the net from the side of the goal. It bounced around and slipped through the pads of Blues’ netminder Brian Elliot to give the Red Wings the early lead.
Elliot finished the night with 21 saves on 22 Detroit shots. Howard stopped 35 of 37 shots against.
The Blues went one-for-four on the power play, including a late five-on-three to end the game. The Wings were scoreless on six power play tries, among them the five-minute major to Stewart.
The Red Wings will continue their road trip on Thursday in San Jose.
Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith served the final game of his five-game suspension. He is expected to remain with the Red Wings for the remainder of their road trip rather than return to the Grand Rapids Griffins… Forward Todd Bertuzzi remained out of the lineup with a sinus infection… Fabian Brunnstrom was the team’s healthy scratch.