ST. LOUIS – Todd Bertuzzi went with an old, reliable move and helped the Detroit Red Wings end an uncharacteristic losing skid.
Bertuzzi beat Chris Mason high with a backhander in the fourth round of the shootout to give the Red Wings a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.
Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk and St. Louis’ Andy McDonald also scored in the tiebreaker, both in the first round.
Bertuzzi, who watched closely as Datsyuk also beat Mason by roofing a backhand into the net, skated wide to the left before waiting Mason out and lifting the winner high into the net.
“It was an uglier version of Pavel’s goal,” Bertuzzi said. “I’ve spent a lot of time working on that. On previous teams, I’ve done it quite a bit, so I’m pretty comfortable doing it. It was nice to be put in that spot to do it.”
Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist, Tomas Holmstrom and Kris Draper added goals and Jimmy Howard made 32 saves to help Detroit snap a three-game losing streak.
“Overall, we found a way to do it,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Obviously, things haven’t gone well for us here of late. But we’ve played real well.”
Holmstrom’s power-play goal at 2:35 of the second period ended Detroit’s scoreless streak at 175:57.
David Backes had a goal and an assist for St. Louis, and Roman Polak and Brad Boyes also scored. David Perron had two assists, and Mason stopped 33 shots.
“It was a tight game, and they made a play at the end of the game to tie it,” Blues coach Andy Murray said. “We had the right people, in our opinion, on the ice at the end that we wanted to have out there. They made a play and scored a goal.
“Certainly when you’re leading in the last minute, you want the win.”
After Detroit overcame a 2-0 deficit to tie it in the third, the Blues regained the lead when Boyes knocked in Perron’s centring feed 8:32 into the final period.
However, Zetterberg tied it with 56.7 seconds left. His backhander from the behind the goal caromed off Blues defenceman Barret Jackman’s arm and past Mason.
It marks the second time in a week that the Blues have given up a game-tying goal in the last minute. Dallas scored with 25.4 seconds left Wednesday before the Blues won 4-3 in a shootout in Dallas.
“I just tried to battle with those guys (in front of the net) and the puck ends up in the (right) corner,” said Polak, Jackman’s defensive partner. “I think it was Zetterberg and he just shovelled it to the backhand shoulder-high and I think it hit Jackman in the shoulder or in the back … I don’t know.
“It happened to us a couple games ago. It wasn’t even a shot on net and it hit somebody. … It was just bad luck.”
Backes gave the Blues a 1-0 lead 13:24 into the first period. Perron’s shot from the slot caromed off Backes in front past Howard.
Polak put the Blues up 2-0 when he took Backes’ pass and fired a shot through heavy traffic high into the right side of the net at 17:22 of the first period.
Howard closed his pads on a breakaway attempt by McDonald just 5:12 into the game or it could have been a larger lead for the Blues.
“I thought Howie was real good in the first and gave us a chance,” Babcock said. “We weren’t very good. They beat us to all the pucks, and then, I thought we really battled and gave ourselves a chance.”
Holmstrom cut the Blues’ lead in half at 2-1 when he scored Detroit’s first power-play goal in 15 chances by redirecting in Zetterberg’s pass from the right circle.
“They’re the best team over the last decade hands-down,” Mason said. “They never quit. They’re down 2-0 after one period, and over in that dressing room, they still believe they’re going to win and that’s how they play.”
NOTES: The Red Wings’ scoreless streak was their longest drought since March 24-29, 1977, when they went 197:58 without a goal. … Blues D Eric Brewer (lower-body injury) missed his second consecutive game. … Datsyuk has 56 points in 46 career games against the Blues. … The Blues are 10-0-1 this season when scoring three or more goals. … After going without a goal in 16 games, Backes has scored in three straight.