Despite sitting and watching the hour-long long ceremony for Hull, who was the star attraction in St. Louis for 11 years but also won a Stanley Cup with Detroit, the Red Wings came out fresh. Detroit scored two goals in the first four and a half minutes, and had 10 shots on goal in the first 10 minutes, in a 5-1 rout of the Blues on Tuesday night.
“We wanted to have a good start after not having moved around for close to 45 minutes,” defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We talked about a quick start after that long ceremony.”
The pre-game ceremony marked the retirement of the No. 16 sweater Hull wore in St. Louis. But unlike when the Blues ended a franchise-record 13-game losing streak with a victory over Edmonton following the retirement of Al MacInnis’ number last season, St. Louis got no such carry-over effect Tuesday in dropping its fifth consecutive game.
“How can you not get ready for tonight’s game?” coach Mike Kitchen said. “You just look around.
“You’ve got a full building, there’s a lot of electricity in the air, and they’re not ready to play? Come on.”
The Blues have not won since earning a 3-2 shootout victory Nov. 24 at Detroit.
“You know what I see: work ethic,” Kitchen said. “How bad do you want it?”
Hull, meeting with reporters in the second, tried to separate the game from the ceremony. He wasn’t sure why the emotion wasn’t a motivating factor for the Blues.
“It certainly can be,” Hull said. “It also can’t be too, obviously.”
Pavel Datsyuk had an assist on Henrik Zetterberg’s team-leading ninth goal 2:34 into the game and gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead with his fourth goal about two minutes later. Daniel Cleary made it three goals on 12 shots later in the first, chasing goalie Manny Legace, a former Red Wing.
It was Datsyuk’s first goal in 16 games.
The Red Wings had 11 shots on goal before the Blues took their first. The rare near-capacity crowd gave Keith Tkachuk a mock cheer after he took a lazy shot at the Detroit net with 8:08 left in the period for their first shot on goal.
“We did a really good job from the start,” Zetterberg said. “The puck went in the net, and it’s a little bit easier then.”
Jason Bacashihua, who was called up Sunday from the American Hockey League on Sunday for his third stint of the season with the Blues, faced 20 shots.
The lone goal for St. Louis came with 3:24 left in the game on Eric Brewer’s first goal of the season, denying Dominik Hasek his second-consecutive and a league-leading fifth shutout.
Notes Zetterberg’s first-period goal extended the Detroit’s league-high streak of games in which the team has scored to 146. …The Red Wings failed to get a shot off in their second power-play opportunity. … The Blues play at Detroit on Thursday.