Datsyuk scores two, Red Wings overpower Blues

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) — The Detroit Red Wings gave the St. Louis
Blues a firsthand look at their potent, quick-strike offense.

The Red Wings, who lead the NHL with 257 goals, scored on three
consecutive shots in a 46-second span of a 5-2 victory over the
Blues on Saturday.

Pavel Datsyuk scored twice in the high-powered second period for
the Red Wings.

“We shot the puck, we got it to the net, and you really don’t
ever bank on scoring like that consistently,” Wings forward Kirk
Maltby said. “A couple good shots either surprised the goalie
or handcuffed him, and the next thing you know, it’s in the net.

“We definitely came out better in the second, and that was kind
of how we got rewarded.”

Tomas Kopecky, Brett Lebda and Henrik Zetterberg also scored and
Chris Osgood stopped 30 shots for Detroit, tied with Boston for
the NHL lead with 99 points.

The Blues, fighting for a playoff spot in the Western
Conference, got a goal and assist from T.J. Oshie. David Backes
had two assists and Jeff Woywitka also scored for St. Louis,
which is on the outside edge of a playoff position.

“It was what we expected,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
“That’s Game Seven for them. They’re playing for their playoff

“They’re at a different level intensity-wise, and I thought
after we got through the first period, we were much better.”

The Blues have a quick turnaround against Minnesota on Sunday.

“We’ve got a game to play in 24 hours,” Blues coach Andy Murray
said. “It’s a big game for our team, and the players were given
from the time that I left the room until (the media) walked in
to feel sorry for themselves.”

The Red Wings struck quickly to grab a 3-1 lead on goals by
Datsyuk, Kopecky and Lebda. Datsyuk and Kopecky scored 10
seconds apart.

“We just kept creating turnovers. We were working real hard to
get the puck back and forechecking hard and creating some
turnovers, and we were shooting the puck,” Red Wings defenseman
Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We made some quick passes and some
quick shots, as well, so it’s great to see the puck go in for us
that way.”

Datsyuk tied it 4:40 into the second after the Blues failed to
dump a puck deep in the Detroit zone and then made a poor line
change that sprung Datsyuk loose.

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Kopecky scored his sixth of the season when the Blues got caught
in their own end while Detroit picked its way through the Blues’

Lebda made it 3-1 just 36 seconds later. He intercepted a bad
clearing pass by defenseman Barret Jackman and snapped a shot
over the glove of Chris Mason at 5:26. Jackman was also called
for roughing at the end of the play.

“We needed to make better decisions with the puck in all the
goals that were scored against us,” Murray said.

The Blues got a goal back when Woywitka one-timed a cross-ice
feed from Oshie from the right circle at 9:08 of the second.
Osgood preserved the 3-2 lead when he made a pad save from point
blank range on Jay McClement with 4:55 left in the period.

“It was a big goal at the time, but it’s a tough loss,” Woywitka
said. “We’re not worrying about it too much. We’ve got to put
it behind us. We play (Sunday), and that’s the biggest game of
the year right now. That’s what we’re focusing on.”

Datsyuk’s second of the game with 35 seconds remaining in the
second gave Detroit a two-goal lead again. Woywitka turned over
the puck in his own end, allowing Datsyuk to throw a shot from
the far right circle through a screen and past Mason.

Mason was replaced after the second period by St. Louis native
Ben Bishop and returned briefly with 5:11 remaining.

A good cycle of the puck enabled the Blues to take a 1-0 edge
when Oshie converted a centering feed from Andy McDonald with
5:16 left in the first period.

The Blues outshot Detroit, 16-4, in the third period but could
not get anything past Osgood, who blanked the Blues the previous
time Detroit visited on March 3.

“The missed opportunities in the third period were every bit as
bad as the goals we gave up in the second,” Murray said. “Their
goalie made some saves, and we’ll give him credit, but you’ve
got to bury some of those opportunities in the third period. We
had more than enough for two goals.”