The forward lines would look like this in Detroit tonight: Steen, Stastny, Brouwer...Fabbri, Lehtera, Tarasenko...Berglund, Backes, Rattie, and Jaskin, Brozdiak, Upshall/Reaves. (Though Berglund, Backes, and Tarasenko would start) The D-pairings wouldn't even really be pairings as the Blues would only dress five defensemen tonight. Gunnarson was not taken off IR in time for the game. (Yeah, that actually happened, but Army did take responsibility for that) The Blues would start out with Shattenkirk, Bouwmeester and Pietrangelo, Edmundson. Andre Benoit would also play tonight with whoever the Blues put out on the ice with him. (Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk would have most of the ice time tonight with Bouwmeester coming in behind them) Your starter once again was Brian Elliott.
Right off the bat the Red Wings would get a scoring chance that Elliott would deny.
Ty Rattie has seen his share of ups and down's this year. Literally. But tonight would definately be an up for the youngster as he scores his third goal of the year on a deflection.
Alex Pietrangelo(17) and Backes(15) would notch the assists on the play. But the Wings would come right back and almost score a goal of their own. However, Elliott would make the initial save and Paul Stastny would be there to make a save of his own. (How good has Stastny been these past few games?)
Here's another look:
Not often that you have Pavel Datsyuk miss a wide open net, then Paul Stastny saves a goal. #STLBlues #RedWings pic.twitter.com/OpTp2ci2au— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) January 21, 2016
The Blues would be outshot 11-7 in the first but would lead 1-0.
The second period would be dominated by both Brian Elliott and Red Wings starter Petr Mrazek. Good things seem to happen more often than not with Alexander Steen and Stastny playing together. They would combine for the best Blues powerplay chance of the night on a give and go. The only thing missing was the Blues goal.
The Red Wings would get their chances on their own powerplay in the second as well. Elliott would hold the fort though. Maybe bend but not break was more appropriate for this save. On this play, he would make the initial save, but the puck would squirt out behind him and he would just fall on it as the whistle blew.
Wouldn't be a Blues recap without mention of Vladimir Tarasenko. He had some pretty decent looks, but Mrazek would have his number all night tonight it seemed.
This frame would be a little better for the Blues as they would be even with the Wings in shots 9-9 and would still hold on to that 1-0 lead.
Dmitrij Jaskin hasn't really done too much this year with the team. (Not that I can blame him getting fourth line minutes most of the time) That would change tonight as he would pull a Tarasenko like move out of his hat and get the Blues second goal past Mrazek for the 2-0 lead:
Jaskin with the composure to make a power move through traffic with that kind of finish is just great. #stlblues pic.twitter.com/clrVjEf6j7— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) January 21, 2016
Brilliant solo effort indeed. It would be Jaskin's third goal of the year with Backes(16) and Pietrangelo(18) getting the helpers on that beautiful play.
Now, it wouldn't be a Blues/Red Wings game without some stupid call late in the game. Alright, it wasn't a stupid call, but it was questionable for sure. Steen would be called for elbowing late in the third. I didn't see his elbow make contact. Marchenko would sure sell it either way, and Steen was called. His helmet does move, but I'm not so sure that the elbow ever makes contact. (Trust me, I've been wrong before) Needless to say, he was not happy.
"watch the f***ing replay" Steen subtly suggests pic.twitter.com/wqRAazAQIf— Stephanie (@myregularface) January 21, 2016
And because it is Detroit, they would score on the ensuing powerplay.
There was more controversy (or lack there of) on this goal as the Blues would challenge the goal calling for goaltender interference. It was not. (Player was out of crease)
overhead pic.twitter.com/HjIBbKwyJ7— Stephanie (@myregularface) January 21, 2016
Despite all of that, and a two goal lead in the third, the Blues would hold on to the winner winner, Wings for dinner. The Blues were outshot 10-4 in the third and 30-20 for the game. For a team on the road, and only playing with five d-men it was a great effort. Of course Ells was solid once again. In fact he's stopped 111 out of 117 shots in the past three games. In fact Ells has won five of his last six posting a 2.03 GAA and a .938 save percentage (thanks Blues official Twitter for that nugget). Love the Blues winning despite the lopsided shot totals. Can they not make it a habit though? The Blues travel to Colorado to take on The Avs. (Kroenke still sucks)
Petr Mrazek (20-22, not Jimmy Howard, who is still an average goaltender)
Alexander Steen (No points, kisses his mother with that potty mouth)
Alex Pietrangelo (2 assists, Not to be confused with Alex Peterangelo...Thanks Pierre)