ST. LOUIS – Playing the Detroit Red Wings is generally not a recipe for ending a winless streak.
Thanks to 34 saves by goalie Manny Legace and third period power-play goals from Keith Tkachuk and Lee Stempniak, the St. Louis Blues stopped a four-game skid, rallying to beat Detroit 3-2 on Thursday night.
The win ended the Red Wings’ 12-game point streak. The Red Wings had gone 10-0-2 since losing 3-2 at Nashville on Nov. 22.
“That’s the best team in the league,” said Legace, a former Red Wing. “They’re the most talented and their work ethic is second to none. That’s where you got to set your standards.
“I thought we had a full solid 60 minutes all the way through.”
Detroit goalie Chris Osgood (15-2-1) hadn’t lost since dropping a 3-2 decision at Chicago on Nov. 11. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock thought his team played well enough to get Osgood another win.
“We competed hard,” Babcock said. “We had a good run where we won a lot of games, and now we have to start another streak.”
Brad Boyes scored his 20th goal for St. Louis, and Paul Kariya and Andy McDonald each had two assists. McDonald has four points in his first two games with the Blues, and Kariya has 31 points in 31 games.
Valtteri Filppula and Mikael Samuelsson scored for Detroit. Henrik Zetterberg picked up an assist on Filppula’s goal, giving him 50 points (25 goals, 25 assists). Zetterberg has nine points in five games.
Detroit led 2-1 heading into the third period, but the Blues took advantage of Niklas Kronwall’s hooking penalty to tie the game when Tkachuk deflected Kariya’s shot from the point past Osgood at 4:22.
St. Louis took the lead with 5:58 remaining after Andreas Lilja’s interference penalty. On the ensuing power play, Stempniak skated in front from the left boards and beat Osgood with a wrist shot.
Babcock thought the Blues’ David Backes, who was in front trying to screen Osgood, was guilty of goaltender interference on the play.
“The thing I don’t like is on their second power-play goal, they have a player two feet into the crease,” Babcock said.
The Blues took a 1-0 lead when McDonald’s centring pass from the right wing deflected off Boyes’ skate and past Osgood 7:11 into the contest. The play was reviewed but ultimately allowed to stand.
It stayed that way until midway through the second period when former Blue Dallas Drake skated in on left wing and hit Filppula with a cross ice pass. Filppula put it in the open side for his eighth goal at the 10:35 mark.
The Red Wings took the lead 30 seconds later when Nicklas Lidstrom sent Samuelsson in alone down left wing. Samuelsson moved toward the middle and beat Legace with a shot between the pads to make it 2-1.
“I should have had them,” Legace said. “I should have had them both. It may not have looked like it, but it felt that way.”
Notes: Detroit RW Tomas Holmstrom injured his right knee early in the second period when he collided with Blues C Jay McClement and didn’t return. Babcock said that he was optimistic that the injury was not serious, but said the team would know more after Holmstrom was examined in Detroit… The Red Wings have lost seven times in regulation, twice in St. Louis. The Blues also beat Detroit 4-3 on Nov. 13. … Blues D Barret Jackman had a roughing penalty in the third period, giving him 500 career NHL penalty minutes.