ST. LOUIS – Rookie forward David Perron is giving the Blues every reason to keep him in the NHL.
Perron scored twice in St. Louis’ four-goal second period and the Blues rallied from two down to beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 Tuesday night. St. Louis will have a decision to make once Perron plays another game, whether to keep him with the big club for the rest of the season or return him to Lewiston of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. If he keeps playing this well, the choice could be easy.
“You always have to prove something,” Perron said. “Even if I stay the whole year, I still have to prove that the team made a good decision. I’m trying to play those kinds of games like I did tonight every night.”
The Blues, who snapped a three-game losing streak, fell behind 2-0 but stormed back in the middle period against goalie Dominik Hasek. Keith Tkachuk and Jamal Mayers joined Perron in the scoring spurt, and the final three goals came in a span of four shots.
“You need a little bit of luck and we needed contributions from other guys,” Mayers said. “We got that.”
Pavel Datsyuk, Dan Cleary and Valtteri Filppula scored for Detroit, who lost the lead despite holding a 17-7 shots advantage in the second. The Red Wings dropped their second straight following a nine-game winning streak.
“It’s disappointing,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Let’s not kid ourselves. We’re up 2-0, we’re on the road in our division. You’ve got to find a way to keep on going.”
Tkachuk’s sixth of the season, scored during a 5-on-3 power play, cut the deficit to 2-1 at 5:09. Tkachuk put in a rebound of Lee Stempniak’s shot from the left corner.
The Blues then scored three times in a span of 2:37 to grab the lead for good.
Perron tied it 2-2 with a breakaway goal at 13:14. He then gave the Blues a 3-2 lead at 14:47 with a power-play goal, banging home Steve Wagner’s shot from the point. Perron doubled his season output to four goals.
Mayers’ slap shot from the top of the right circle at 15:51, after a drop pass from Martin Rucinsky, made it 4-2 and chased Hasek. He was replaced by Chris Osgood after allowing four goals on 12 shots.
“We came in the dressing room (after being down 2-0) and I said, ‘Guys, this is the Minnesota game,”‘ Blues coach Andy Murray said of the Blues’ 3-2 victory at Minnesota on Nov. 1. “This is the energy we had in Minnesota., which might have been our best game of the year. I felt that. I felt that we were skating.
“Our theme was to be relentless and stick with it.”
The Red Wings grabbed a 1-0 lead on Datsyuk’s third of the season. Datsyuk’s shot from the blue line took a strange bounce and skipped over the glove of surprised goalie Manny Legace 4:30 into the opening period on Detroit’s first shot.
Cleary made it 2-0 at 16:04 of the first when his backhander from between the circles beat Legace glove side for his sixth of the season.
Filppula made it 4-3 with 4:47 left but Detroit couldn’t net the tying goal.
“I think we’ve been guilty a few times of not having that killer instinct,” Babcock said. “We’ve got to put our foot on them and not let them up, and we didn’t do that.”
Legace stopped 26 shots to earn the victory.
Notes: Detroit C Henrik Zetterberg had his 17-game point streak from the start of a season snapped. Only Ottawa’s Dany Heatley has had a longer streak since 1993-94, recording a point in the first 22 games at the start of the 2005-06 season. … The Blues are the only NHL team this season not to play an overtime game. … The Blues are 8-0 when scoring at least three goals. … LW Dallas Drake returned to St. Louis for the first time since signing with the Red Wings this summer. Drake spent the previous six seasons with the Blues.