Howard Blanks Blues, Red Wings Wrap 2011 with 3-0 Win

Jimmy Howard and the Detroit Red Wings closed out the 2011 calendar year with a 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues Saturday night, the team’s eighth win in the last ten editions of their annual New Year’s Eve game.

Howard stopped all 31 shots he faced in shutting out the Blues. It was his third shutout of the Red Wings’ twelve-game home winning streak.

All of the game’s scoring came in the second period.

At 7:28 of the middle frame, Johan Franzen opened the game’s scoring. Franzen darted around Barret Jackman to cut through the right faceoff circle, then skated past Roman Polak at the top of the crease and wristed a shot past St. Louis netminder Brian Elliot.

Just 1:17 later, Justin Abdelkader made it 2-0. Drew Miller deflected an attempted pass by the Blues to Abdelkader at the left side of the slot for a snap shot past Elliot.

Earlier in the game, Abdelkader had taken a hit to the head from Ian Cole and missed time in the “quiet room,” where he was observed for concussion-like symptoms.

Jiri Hudler wrapped up the game’s scoring with 53 seconds left in the second. With two St. Louis defenders covering him, Hudler took a pass at the inside edge of the left circle and put a shot on Elliot, then followed up his own rebound to knock it into the goal.

Elliot finished the night with 28 saves on 31 Detroit shots.

The Wings were held scoreless on four power play chances. The Blues did not score on their three tries with the extra attacker.

Detroit is next in action on Tuesday when they begin a four game road trip in Dallas.

The Red Wings played without forwards Tomas Holmstrom and Darren Helm, both out with groin injuries and aiming for a return against Dallas… Defenseman Jakub Kindl was a healthy scratch.

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.