Two nights after letting the Buffalo Sabres steal a point, the Blues found themselves in the position of point stealer Saturday against Detroit. Playing their only game at home against the Wings this year, the Blues came out and continued their impressively poor play in their own zone yet again. Thankfully we finally have a player who can keep us in these games even if he only gets two shots a game.
Once again the Blues started out a game with a decent effort, limiting the Wings chances on offense while creating chances themselves and while shots were only 1 to 1 after three minutes the Blues seemed to have control at this point. But a missed pass here and a failed clear there led to Detroit getting two good looks on goal as Teemu Pulkkinen's redirect was turned aside by Allen and later Dylan Larkin's two attempts were similarly secured by Jake Allen.
We would get some good pressure shortly after with Dmitrij Jaskin getting the best look when his tip in just knicked off of Jimmy Howard's leg pad and scooted just wide of the net. Jay Bouwmeester would join an odd man rush shortly after but his shot went just high above the net.
But it was another breakdown in our own zone that put Detroit ahead and it was Blues killer Pavel Datsyuk who lit the lamp with his first goal of the season. I don't know if our defensemen over committed or a forward didn't back check fast enough but you just can't leave Datsyuk wide open like that any where in the offensive zone. Yet the Blues would actually fight back rather quickly and it was Kevin Shattenkirk extending his point streak while assisting on a milestone.
Shatty would put a perfectly timed pass on to the tape of Kyle Brodziak just as he was crossing the blue line into the Detroit zone. Brodziak was in on a partial break and hesitated just enough to get Howard to drop his shoulder before firing it into the upper right corner of the net.
If you couldn't tell or only watched the goal, that was Brodziak's 100th career goal and he seemed pretty excited about that. And the Blues just wanted to keep that happy feeling going as Bouwmeester continued his strong game with a seeing eye shot that Lehtera got a stick on to put the Blues up 2-1 just 1:40 later.
The Blues were rolling at this point and as the period wound down you had the sense that this game was going to really turn in the second when Tarasenko and Steen got going, but the ugly lack of effort monster reaered back up with under two to play. Luke Glendening would beat Scott Gomez on the draw and would become the trailer on the rush and with no back check to speak off, was the grateful recipient of a loose puck that he fired pass Allen for a late tying goal.
So instead of going into the intermission on a high of being up 2-1, you could see the disappointment in going in the locker room tied at 2.
The start of this period reflected that disappointment as poor passing and sloppy play in both zones continued to dominate the teams possession. Even a Detroit penalty couldn't help the team find a groove as the power play didn't even get set up in the Wings zone. After bailing his team out time and again tonight, Jake Allen couldn't stop rookie Larkin's fortunate glove from getting his 8th goal of the year. Henrik Zetterberg was able to gather a loose puck in the slot and after a spin-o-rama, fired the puck toward goal and Larkin swatted at it only to have it glance off his glove and past Allen.
The Wings continued to put the screws to the Blues while on the penalty kill as they didn't allow the Blues to do much of anything yet again with the man advantage. Scottie Upshall and Jaskin would both get decent looks on goal late in the second but both came from the outside edge of the zone as the defense pushed the rushes to the outside when the Blues even got a rush. Yet even with little to know zone time the Blues did outshoot the Wings 11-6 in the period but found themselves down 3-2.
The third began much the same way as the second ended with Detroit getting the chances and the Blues having seemingly no answers. An early interference penalty by David Backes really seemed to sap any energy that might have been gained by the third period starting. Allen continued his superb play as his defense was failing around him, stopping multiple chances including yet another attempt by Larkin.
It took until almost nine minutes in before the Blues really got any sustained pressure in the Detroit zone and the chances really started to come to the Blues and even then they only managed one shot. Now watching on TV you can't get a real sense of the crowd but it seemed to be kind of dead most of the night. It wasn't until about 11 minutes in that you could start to hear them really get into the game and trying to will their team back into the game. But it worked, albeit a bit later then they would have hoped, but it was Vladimir Tarasenko who shot them to their feet with about three minutes to go.
Vladi has almost perfected the move that TJ Oshie brought to his game, the slide in the wing and then cross the length of the zone until the goalie leaves an open spot for you to score move. It was Tarasenko's best and really only attempt of the game but he always seems to make his chances count and this one tied up a game that shouldn't have been close.
For the second straight game the Blues would head to overtime with an Eastern Conference team. Just like the previous game the extra time started off slow as both teams felt each others game plan out and then it broke out in to craziness.
Tomas Tatar would get a partial break but Allen stoned him cold and killed my chance at some fantasy points. (Thanks Jake)
Magnus Paajarvi continued his strong play recently with a shot that Howard got his leg pad and blocker on to deny the Blues the win. Then with offensive control Colton Parayko would "pick" Mike Green and go off for interference with Steen walking in for a shot.
The Blues PK was solid yet again in this game and almost killed off the Parayko penalty but even a face off win in their own zone couldn't prevent them from losing the game.
And now its four straight losses to the Red Wings and we have to wait until January to snap the losing streak. I know our main rival has always been Chicago but I just CAN'T STAND LOSING TO DETROIT!! Hopefully we pull our heads out of our asses and play some solid defense from here on out as we travel to Buffalo on Monday night. at 2-4 in the last 6 games, we need to snap the slump we are in to keep up with the likes of Dallas.
#3 - Teemu Pulkkinen: GWG and an assist on the opening goal. Had multiple chances all game
#2 - Vladimir Tarasenko: GTG on only real chance of the game. Kid is magic, 6 goals in last 6 games
#1 - Dylan Larkin: His goal wasn't pretty or skillful but you can tell why the Wings are so high on him.