ST. LOUIS – Paul Kariya has a lot to do with the St. Louis Blues being the NHL’s worst team on home ice. For once, he played a key role in a happier ending.
Kariya scored twice for his first goals at home in more than 15 months and the Blues recovered after blowing a two-goal cushion, beating the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday night.
“Get the win first, but it was nice to get that monkey off my back at home,” Kariya said. “I don’t know what happened there, but it’s behind us. Hopefully, they start flooding now.”
T.J. Oshie and Brad Boyes scored in the shootout for St. Louis, while goalie Chris Mason clinched it with a left pad save on Henrik Zetterberg in the third round.
Jason Williams scored in the shootout for Detroit.
“They have a tough crew of shooters, but our guys did a great job of scoring and taking the pressure off,” Mason said. “I made a big save and that was the end of it.”
Kariya got credit for a deflection off David Perron’s drive on the Blues’ first goal and added an assist for his second two-goal game of the season and sixth multipoint game of the season.
Andy McDonald also scored in regulation for the Blues, who have had trouble protecting leads all season and had to rally playing on consecutive nights after losing 5-2 at Colorado on Monday. St. Louis is an NHL-worst 10-16-5 at home and have blown a lead in the third period eight times this season.
“Maybe we need to get less sleep the night before games, but we certainly had good energy and carried it in,” Kariya said. “They certainly got some lucky goals and lucky bounces.
“It was a disappointing they got a point out of there, but we’ll take the two points, obviously.”
The Red Wings got goals from Pavel Datsyuk and Valtteri Filppula in the final 5:34 to force overtime. Johan Franzen had an assist in his first game back from a 55-game absence due to a left knee injury sustained in early October and Kris Draper gave the Red Wings an early lead.
“We showed a lot of fight coming back,” defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We played as a desperate team, we were the ones getting the pucks to the net and crashing the net and getting rewarded, too.”
Franzen played 17:28 and had four shots.
“It felt like the last game I played,” Franzen said. “I thought it was going to be worse. Better than I thought it was going to be.”
St. Louis had the best chances in overtime, with Erik Johnson hitting the post and Jimmy Howard stuffing Eric Brewer’s redirection on a three-on-two break.
It was a busy night for both goalies. Mason made 39 saves less than 24 hours after getting pulled in the loss at Colorado, while Howard started for the 17th time in 19 games and made 42 saves.
Datsyuk deflected the puck off his skate to cut the gap to one with 5:34 to go and a Filppula capitalized on a bad clear by Keith Tkachuk to tie it with 2:20 remaining, scoring from a scrum in front of the net.
“Some ugly goals, but that’s what we need right now,” Franzen said. “I think all our goals went off someone’s leg or whatever.”
Kariya stole the puck from Todd Bertuzzi behind the Red Wings’ net to set up his 11th goal and first in the Scottrade Center since Oct. 25, 2008, swatting in a rebound at 18:10 of the second period for a 2-1 lead. Kariya missed most of last season with injuries to both hips but has been healthy this season.
The Red Wings are winless in three games and came up empty three days after frittering away a three-goal first period lead at Los Angeles.
NOTES: With one game to go in the season series March 24 in Detroit, the Red Wings have only an overtime win. The Blues haven’t gone a season without a regulation loss to the Red Wings since 1980-81 when they were 4-0. … Before McDonald’s power-play goal midway through the third, the Red Wings had killed 20 straight penalties. … Kariya has three goals and four assists in five games against Detroit.