Blues’ scoring attack flourishes in 6-1 victory over Red Wings
DETROIT — The St. Louis Blues quickly made the most of their limited opportunities.
Jaden Schwartz knocked home his own rebound and the Blues scored four times on their first five shots on the way to beating the Detroit Red Wings 6-1 Saturday.
Vladimir Sobotka, Scottie Upshall, Jay Bouwmeester, Brayden Schenn and Dmitrij Jaskin also had goals for the Blues in their third straight victory.
“That really didn’t seem like a 6-1 game,” Bouwmeester said. “We had the lead for most of it, but we weren’t playing great.”
Frans Nielsen scored for Detroit, which has won just once in its last eight games.
Outshot 29-22, including an 11-4 margin during the first period, the Blues took advantage of some spectacular stops from Jake Allen and some questionable goals against Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to fashion a 4-0 lead through the first two periods.
“We spent a lot of time in our zone, but we were able to keep them to the outside and Jake was great,” Bouwmeester said. “He let us take advantage of the opportunities we did have.”
Howard continued his struggles of the past few weeks, allowing four or more goals for the fifth time in eight starts and sixth time in nine appearances.
“What it came down to is I need to come with saves for the guys,” Howard said. “At the end of the day, the guys did their job and I have to do mine for them.”
Shortly after killing off a high-sticking penalty, the Blues opened the scoring at 11:50 of the first period. Schwartz took a pass from Alexander Steen and drove a low shot that Howard stopped with his left pad. Schwartz put the rebound past Howard.
The Blues made it 2-0 at 4:07 of the second period when Sobotka’s long wrist shot from just inside the Detroit blue line beat Howard high on the glove side. It was the Blues’ first shot on goal since Schwartz opened the scoring.
St. Louis made it three goals on three consecutive shots when Upshall got loose on a breakaway after a turnover by defenseman Niklas Kronwall and slipped the puck between Howard’s pads to make it 3-0 at 6:17 of the second period.
Bouwmeester’s shot deflected off the stick of defenseman Mike Green and over Howard’s glove at 16:26 of the second period for the Blues’ fourth goal on five shots.
Petr Mrazek replaced Howard in net for Detroit to start the third period.
Nielsen spoiled Allen’s bid for a shutout 7:18 in the third period.
At the nine-minute mark, Jaskin beat Mrazek with a forehand deke move to make it 5-1. Schenn tucked a rebound past Mrazek with 42.2 seconds to play to complete the scoring.
Despite the deficit, the Red Wings felt that they were playing solidly through the first two periods and deserved a better fate.
“We definitely didn’t like the score, but I think we did some really good things out there,” Nielsen said. “I’m a big believer that over 82 games in this league, you get what you deserve. We’ve got to keep believing in it and keep working out there.”
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) December 9, 2017
NOTES: The Red Wings recalled LW Tyler Bertuzzi from AHL Grand Rapids to replace LW David Booth, who is out with an undisclosed injury. … Schwartz did not return after suffering a lower-body injury while blocking a shot by Wings D Mike Green late in the first period.
Blues: Back home on Sunday to face the Buffalo Sabres.
Red Wings: Play the third game of a five-game homestand Monday against the Florida Panthers.