The St. Louis Blues saw Wednesday night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings start off in a very similar fashion as their earlier meetings in February had, and they had to be scared. For the third time this season the Red Wings jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead against the Blues. Wednesday proved to have a different ending for the Blues, however, as they mounted a comeback and took a win over their Central Division rivals for the second time this season.
The Red Wings defeated the Blues 5-3 on Feb. 1 and 5-1 on Feb. 7, and looked to be well on their way to a third consecutive win against the Blues on Wednesday. Blues rookie goaltender Jake Allen, making his first career NHL start, looked rattled early on but quickly settled in. A shorthanded goal from Patrik Berglund on a beautiful pass from a falling T.J. Oshie got the Blues on the board and swung momentum back in their favor. Vladimir Tarasenko and Chris Stewart would add goals for the Blues as they worked to a 3-2 lead, but a third period goal by the Wings’ Pavel Datsyuk tied things back up and eventually forced overtime. Less than a minute into the extra frame, Alex Steen blew a shot past Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard to give the Blues the win and snap a five-game losing streak.
While the win over the Red Wings was much-needed, it won’t mean as much if the Blues aren’t able to keep positive momentum going. Wednesday night showed everything that is great about this Blues team: special teams, defense and depth. The Blues now have a 7-5-1 record for the season and face a slumping Calgary Flames team tonight. A second consecutive win would be a great step forward for the Blues, who need to win at least a few of their games while Jaroslav Halak is injured if they hope to reach the postseason. Allen will get the start between the pipes again tonight, squaring off against the Flames’ Leland Irving, who has struggled while filling in for the injured Miikka Kiprusoff.