It appears we have a rivalry on our hands now, Coach Babcock. With tonight’s 3-2 defeat of the Detroit Red Wings, the Blues managed to score three goals in one game and Brian Elliott managed to allow just two, letting his GAA deflate a teeny bit from Saturday night’s 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Tight defense was the name of the game throughout the first period, but some chippiness and frustration snuck up on both teams throughout the game, especially in the third period. You have Justin Abdelkatder run Blues goaltender Brian Elliott (which, admittedly, Elliott sold a bit), followed by Brad Stuart pushing David Perron into Jimmy Howard, which started Howard’s mitt and waffleboard flailing in the general direction of Perron’s head. It’s evident these two teams don’t care for each other much, though not on the same level as the dislike between the Blues and their main rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks. This contempt almost stems from the Blues trying to be more rough around the edges and working class, while the Red Wings get frustrated whenever St. Louis gets a leg up on them.
The second period saw two goals. One was scored by Johan Franzen on the power play, in which he plowed up to the crease but not through it — and surprised the Blues’ defenders by wristing it high and in. The Blues answered on an Alex Steen power play goal which blasted through traffic and past Howard. That was, sadly, just the Blues’ ninth PPG of the season.
David Backes figured why not add one more for their tenth, which he did at the start of the third period. Backes himself also has ten goals on the season, one more than Steen. Patrik Berglund added what would become the game winning goal less than two minutes later, on a slap shot that was assisted by Chris Stewart and David Perron.
On the power play from the aforementioned penalty handed out to Perron for “running” Jimmy Howard, Danny Cleary scored the Wings’ second goal of the evening on the man advantage. The Blues’ penalty kill could be forgiven, though, considering six men were on the ice for Detroit. Thankfully tight defensive play kept one more Detroit goal off of the scoreboard.
Going back to the game last March that the Blues won 10-3, St. Louis has outscored Detroit 15-6 in their last three games. No, that’s not lopsided at all.
The Blues are in action again Thursday night against the flailing Anaheim Ducks and their new coach, Bruce Boudreau. Tonight’s win ties the Blues with the Red Wings in points for second in the Central Division, and it will put them in a three-way points tie for fifth in the Western Conference with Detroit and, if they win tonight, the Vancouver Canucks.