Red Wings’ Rally Falls Short in St. Louis

The Detroit Red Wings rallied from down 4-1 to pull within a goal Thursday night but couldn’t get the evener, falling to the St. Louis Blues, 4-3.

Nicklas Lidstrom and Patrick Eaves scored second-period goals but St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak stopped all 15 shots he faced in the third to hold onto the lead for the Blues.

Lidstrom’s goal came on a one-timer from the top of the left faceoff circle with 8:27 left in the middle period and the Red Wings on a five-on-three.

Eaves scored with 3:09 left in the period, snapping a shot from the top of the right circle past Halak after Kris Draper and Darren Helm dug the puck out from behind the net.

The Blues opened the scoring with 6:39 left in the first. Erik Johnson one-timed a shot from the blue line through a crowd and past Chris Osgood on a St. Louis power play.

Johan Franzen responded just 30 seconds later, tying the game on a snapper from the left faceoff dot.

Only 36 seconds after that, Patrick Berglund scored the first of two goals to restore the St. Louis lead, beating Osgood from the high slot.

Berglund scored again with 1:13 left in the first, just three seconds after the expiration of a penalty to Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall. Berglund’s shot from the left wing boards went through a crowd and past Osgood to make it 3-1.

Matt D’Agostini made it 4-1 at 5:51 of the second. Jonathan Ericsson gave the puck away in the neutral zone and it was picked up by Eric Brewer. Brewer sent it up to David Backes, who sprung D’Agostini for a break in on Osgood. He faked out Osgood and slid the puck past him for the eventual game-winner.

Osgood finished the night with 21 saves on 25 shots in his second failed bid at his 400th career win. Halak stopped 35 of 38 Detroit chances.

Both teams went one-for-four on the power play.

The Red Wings are now off for Christmas but return on Sunday when they visit the Minnesota Wild.

Red Wings – Blues Postgame Thoughts

Despite my last comment in the GDT, this is not a loss that the Red Wings can blame the refs on.

I am shocked that while being dominated for the last seven minutes of a one-goal game, a team that averaged 17 minutes of penalties per game did not commit a single infraction. But the Wings shouldn’t have needed a power play at that point.

It was yet another game where the Red Wings got a late start. That could be seen in the first two minutes.

I don’t want to throw him under the bus but I’d do it to Jimmy Howard: Chris Osgood needed to make one more save, maybe two. Yeah, Jonathan Ericsson made a pretty awful giveaway leading to Matt D’Agostini’s goal, but Osgood got faked out on the breakaway. Stop that shot and it’s a different game.

The loss was a team effort, though. Just like a comeback win would have been.

The team really turned it around for the second half of the game. Osgood was sharp, the defense limited St. Louis’ chances, and the offense controlled the puck. Those last seven minutes were pretty amazing, aside from not producing a goal.

I dunno, I’m mad about this loss but not as mad as I expected to be. Of course, I thought the Wings would drop this game and the Vancouver matchup so they came out with two more points than I was predicting.