Blues 1, Red Wings 0
Ty Conklin took advantage of a rare chance to spell Chris
As a bonus, he beat his former team.
Brad Boyes scored early and Conklin held on late for a shutout,
leading the St. Louis Blues to a 1-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings
on Wednesday night.
Conklin made 42 saves against the team that couldn’t afford to
keep him as a backup.
“It’s definitely a little extra motivation,” he
The Blues have won three straight road games and five of six.
Keith Tkachuk gave Conklin credit for the latest victory.
“Without him, we don’t win that game,” Tkachuk said.
Conklin had his second shutout this season and won his third
straight start, playing for the third time in 14 games.
“He battled hard for us last year, too,” Detroit coach Mike
Babcock said. “He won some big games for us – 25 of them to be
Jimmy Howard gave up a goal on the second shot he faced 1:56
into the game and finished with 25 saves, getting the start ahead
of slumping Chris Osgood.
“He made some big saves to give our guys an opportunity to come
back and did a great job of holding down the fort,” said Babcock,
who added that Howard would probably play Friday at home against
The Red Wings, who have won just three of nine, were shut out
for the third time in five home games.
The two-time defending Western Conference champions are
struggling to score goals without some key players they lost in
free agency – such as Marian Hossa – and with others out because of
“I think we’re going to get better when we get guys back,”
captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “But right now, we have to get some
wins with the players we have, and we’re confident we can get it
“I don’t think we’re getting nervous, but we see the standings
Conklin expects Detroit to be in its usual position by
“In my opinion, they’re going to make the playoffs,” Conklin
said. “I know they’re not in now, but they’ll be in at the end of
The banged-up Red Wings might’ve taken another hit late in the
game, losing forward Dan Cleary with an upper body injury. They’re
already without a handful of players due to injury, including
forwards Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, Jason Williams and
defenseman Niklas Kronwall.
“It’s very obvious we’re not blessed with a whole bunch of
natural scorers,” Babcock said.
Detroit went scoreless on four power plays over the first two
periods, including a two-man advantage that lasted a minute in the
“I think that was a big part of the game,” St. Louis coach
Andy Murray said. “We used (forwards) Jay McClement and B.J.
Crombeen for the whole time.”
The Red Wings finished 0 for 6 on the power play against a team
that has given up only one goal the last 33 times they’ve been
called for a penalty on the road.
“Our penalty killing has been fantastic,” Conklin said. “We
get in lanes. Guys trust the goalies to make the first save and
they clear the rebounds.”
The Blues haven’t allowed a goal in a 5-on-3 situation this
Detroit had an extra skater again early in the third period, but
Lidstrom clanged a shot off the post for the second time in the
game. Detroit couldn’t generate another scoring opportunity.
The Red Wings had another chance to tie it on a power play with
5 minutes left, but Conklin used his right shoulder to stop the
last shot during the advantage.
“That’s why you pay goalies,” Murray said. “It was good to
see him come in here and get a win.”
NOTES: Conklin inadvertently hit Detroit F Brad May after
clearing the puck, cutting May’s face. … The Blues are missing
defenseman Eric Brewer and forward D.J. King because of injuries.
… Detroit’s opponents have scored first in 20 of 30 games. …
The Blues opened the season with two wins against Detroit in
Sweden, and the Red Wings won in a shootout in St. Louis last
month. … Howard played in only one game last season for the Red
Wings as their No. 3 goalie behind Osgood and Conklin. … St.
Louis is 9-0-3 when leading after two periods.