DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings needed a 3:14 span late in the third period to earn their fourth straight win.
Dan Cleary’s second goal of the game broke a third-period tie and began a four-goal rally to lift the Red Wings past the St. Louis Blues 7-3 on Wednesday night.
Cleary also stretched his goal streak to six games and his points streak to career-high eight games (eight goals, four assists for 12 points).
“I don’t know how to explain it. Other than the line is playing good and I feel healthy and I feel good on the ice,” Cleary said. “When I get the puck, I’m trying to shoot it on the net and good things will happen.
Drew Miller and Justin Abdelkader each had a goal and an assist and Henrik Zetterberg, Brad Stuart and Tomas Holmstrom also scored for Detroit.
Brian Rafalski had three assists, Pavel Datsyuk two assists and Jimmy Howard made 33 saves.
“Kind of a strange game. Pretty tight and all of a sudden we score enough goals to put it out of reach,” Stuart said. “… Not our best game, by any means.”
Andy McDonald had a goal and two assists, Brad Boyes a goal and an assist and Brad Winchester also scored for St. Louis, which lost its fifth straight after a 9-1-2 start.
Jaroslav Halak stopped 24 shots.
“We did a lot of good things out there,” Halak said. “Unfortunately, the last eight minutes … I don’t know what happened … maybe we were tired.”
The Blues have given up 28 goals in the five losses after only allowing 18 in their first 12.
“It’s a tough question to answer,” Halak said about the five-game losing streak. “If we knew the answer, we wouldn’t be losing games.”
Cleary one-timed Mike Modano’s pass from behind the net past Halak at 12:26 for his second of the game and ninth of the season.
Zetterberg got his fifth goal of the season 46 seconds later.
“I thought we had a real good third period. It was great to see we could respond,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “They worked harder than us for the first two periods.”
Stuart scored his second of the season at 14:30 and Holmstrom got his sixth at 15:40, both on the power play.
“It got away in a hurry,” St. Louis coach Davis Payne said.
McDonald capitalized on Johan Franzen’s turnover in the Detroit zone to tie it at 3, with 2:53 left in the second period. McDonald scored on a backhand after a move in front of the net for his fourth goal.
That came 37 seconds after Cleary’s first goal gave the Red Wings a 3-2 lead on a quick shot from along the right wing boards that surprised Halak.
Rafalski made an outstanding play to keep the puck in the St. Louis zone with his stick and then with his skate to set it up.
Abdelkader’s third goal came with 6:18 left in the middle period. He tipped in Rafalski’s shot from the point to tie the game 2-2.
Winchester’s power-play goal gave the Blues a 2-1 lead at 8:16 of the second when he poked in McDonald’s pass. It was Winchester’s first goal.
Halak’s gaffe gave the Red Wings the first goal 8:05 into the game. After making the save on Miller’s shot from the high slot, Halak accidentally swatted the puck out of mid air and back into the net, trying to clear it into the corner. Miller was credited with his first goal.
“Just trying to put it back into the corner and a bad bounce,” Halak said.
Boyes tied it just 1:32 later when he beat Howard with a backhand from the bottom of the left circle.
NOTES: St. Louis recalled C T.J. Hensick from its AHL affiliate in Peoria on Tuesday. Hensick was born in Lansing and grew up in Howell, about halfway between Lansing and Detroit. … Detroit RW Patrick Eaves was a healthy scratch. … It was the Red Wings 600th regular-season win with Ken Holland as the general manager.