The Detroit Red Wings’ Ray Whitney scored late in the second period Thursday night to give Detroit a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues, clinching the President’s Trophy for the Red Wings with one game remaining in the season. It is the second time in three years and fourth time since 1995 that Detroit has won the President’s Trophy, awarded to the team with the NHL’s best regular season record.
Whitney scored with 2:02 remaining in the second period and fourth-string goaltender Marc Lamothe allowed only two goals on 28 shots against as the Red Wings held off a St. Louis team fighting to make the playoffs.
With the game tied a two, the Red Wings had the Blues reeling in their own zone. Whitney faked a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle and skated in to the faceoof dot, firing a quick wrister over St. Louis goaltender Chris Osgood‘s shoulder and into the top of the net.
Detroit had opened the scoring 6:32 into the game on a goal by Boyd Devereaux. With Osgood sprawling across the goal crease, Devereaux got the puck from defenseman Chris Chelios at the left side of the net. He roofed a shot over Osgood and put the Wings up by one early.
Steve Thomas added to the Red Wings’ lead with 7:14 remaining in the opening frame. As Brett Hull skated into the St. Louis zone with Pavel Datsyuk, Thomas trailed the play. Coming down the right side of the ice, Hull dropped a pass to Thomas, who fired a shot past Osgood, giving Detroit a two-goal lead.
St. Louis tied the game with two goals just 1:13 apart early in the second period. Former Red Wing Mike Sillinger scored 1:52 into the period to put the Blues on the board and Brain Savage knocked in a loose puck at 3:05 to tie the game.
Lamothe stopped 13 shots in the third period to preserve the Red Wings’ lead. Osgood stopped nine of the 12 shots he faced in the game.
The Red Wings were perfect on the penalty kill, not allowing a goal on either of the two St. Louis power play chances. Detroit did not have any power play attempts of their own, as St. Louis was not penalized in the game. The Red Wings have had only one attempt with the man-advantage in the last two games.
The Red Wings will wrap up their season Saturday night when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.