Saturday night was a perfect example.
"We didn't get frustrated, we just settled down," said Howard, who earned his NHL-best 17th road win. "I thought we played another great game minus the first five minutes of the third period."
Howard, who was in net for a 2-1 overtime victory over the Edmonton Oilers at home on Friday, is 17-3-2 on the road. David Backes and Matt D'Agostini scored in a span of 2:31 early in the final period to tie it but Howard stopped St. Louis' last eight shots.
One night after beating Edmonton by scoring in OT, Datsyuk scored the tie-breaking goal with 6:47 to play to give the Wings consecutive wins after four losses in a row. They have 90 points, second in the Western Conference.
"Pavs made a great play," said Abdelkader, whose goal 80 seconds later gave the Wings some breathing room. "He's one of the best players in the League, and he's been playing so well of late."
Datsyuk added an assist and has 10 goals and 7 assists in 17 games since returning from a broken wrist that sidelined him for 19 games.
Detroit appeared to be in control after two periods, leading 3-1 and holding the St. Louis power play to three shots in four opportunities. But after Backes and D'Agostini scored in a span of 2:31 to tie it at 6:19, Wings coach Mike Babcock called timeout.
"We got on our heels a little bit. I look up and they scored two goals," Babcock said. "You just need someone to hang onto the puck and make a play."
St. Louis, 0 for 9 on the power play the last three games, threatened only on Patrik Berglund's chance from the slot with about 5 seconds to go in the first period.
"I thought their penalty kill out-efforted, outworked our power play," Blues coach Davis Payne said. "We didn't make very clean decisions, and in contact situations they won most of them, either physically or with the stick."
On the Blues' first shot of the final period, Backes scored from the left circle off a feed from Andy McDonald after shooting wide from his knees seconds earlier. D'Agostini's 15th goal came on a deflection of Kevin Shattenkirk's point shot.
Then the momentum switched back to Detroit.
Datsyuk skated around three defenders on the go-ahead goal after winning a battle for the puck along the boards before beating Jaroslav Halak. Abdelkader added his fifth after a turnover.
"Turnovers to players like that, it usually ends up in our net," Halak said. "It was a learning game for us. Let's not get distracted or anything, just get ready for the next one."
Adam Cracknell's first NHL goal, on a one-timer midway through the first period, gave the Blues their only lead. The Red Wings answered with goals 16 seconds apart by Ruslan Salei and Darren Helm. Niklas Kronwall made it 3-1 on a power play late in the second, 9 seconds after Ryan Reaves was called for holding.
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
|Adam Cracknell (1) ASST: Ryan Reaves (1), Cam Janssen (2)|
1 - 0 STL
|Ruslan Salei (2) ASST: Daniel Cleary (17)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Darren Helm (11) ASST: Justin Abdelkader (11), Kris Draper (5)|
2 - 1 DET
|PPG - Niklas Kronwall (11) ASST: Pavel Datsyuk (34), Johan Franzen (23)|
3 - 1 DET
|David Backes (25) ASST: Andy McDonald (22), Matt D'Agostini (18)|
3 - 2 DET
|Matt D'Agostini (15) ASST: Kevin Shattenkirk (25)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Pavel Datsyuk (22) ASST: Tomas Holmstrom (16), Niklas Kronwall (22)|
4 - 3 DET
|Justin Abdelkader (5) ASST: Niklas Kronwall (23), Brad Stuart (13)|
5 - 3 DET
|Matt D'Agostini Tripping against Niklas Kronwall|
|Brad Stuart Tripping against Chris Stewart|
|Johan Franzen Interference against Carlo Colaiacovo|
|Henrik Zetterberg Slashing against T.J. Oshie|
|Todd Bertuzzi Hooking against Roman Polak|
|Ryan Reaves Holding against Todd Bertuzzi|