The Detroit Red Wings are headed for the playoffs, but they're not exactly getting there on a roll.
The Wings allowed an opponent to reach double figures in goals for the first time in more than 17 years as the St. Louis Blues rolled to a 10-3 victory before a stunned sellout crowd at Joe Louis Arena.
Chris Porter had his first two goals of the season, Cam Janssen had his first of 2010-11, and a total of nine Blues scored as St. Louis became the first NHL team to reach 10 goals since Dallas accomplished the feat in a 10-2 win against the Rangers on Feb. 6, 2009. The Blues scored 10 against the Wings for the first time since a 10-5 win in St. Louis on Dec. 1, 1984.
"We just kept pushing and it started steamrolling," Janssen said.
The Red Wings gave up eight goals in the first two periods of a game for the first time since 1986 -- and the first time ever at The Joe. They allowed 10 in a game for the first time since Wayne Gretzky tallied 6 points in a 10-3 loss at Los Angeles on Oct. 9, 1993.
"The puck kept going in our net," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We didn't play good enough, we didn’t compete hard enough -- we weren't good enough.
"Thank God it's over. It looked like it was never going to end for a while. Obviously we'll have to take a look at ourselves and do a much better job, because this was unacceptable.
Joey MacDonald, playing for the injured Jimmy Howard, was lifted midway through the second period after allowing five goals. But he returned for the third period after rookie Thomas McCollum allowed three goals on eight shots.
"They weren't great. They were just like the rest of us," Babcock said of his goaltending.
Jaroslav Halak, meanwhile, made 41 saves for the Blues, who are all but officially eliminated from the playoff race but are 3-0-1 in their last four games.
"The guys know how important it is to start creating success now," coach Davis Payne said. "We could talk about what hasn't happened this season, but we're just focused on working to lay the groundwork for us down the road. Good habits aren't something you just turn on, you have to work to create them."
Detroit has won only one of six, cutting its cushion to six points ahead of Nashville in the Central Division with five games left for both teams -- including one at Nashville on Saturday afternoon. The Wings lead San Jose by one point in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, and the Sharks have a game in hand.
"You have success as a team, and our team wasn't any good tonight," Babcock said. "As a group of players and as a coaching staff, we didn't get the job done."
The game started out well enough for the Wings -- Mike Modano's slap shot off a rebound beat Halak 5:51 into the game. But things went downhill quickly for the home team, which was booed early and often by the capacity crowd.
Chris Stewart started the scoring flurry at 14:06 before Janssen ended a 114-game streak without a goal by beating MacDonald at 16:04.
"Unbelievable," Janssen said after scoring the first time in more than two years. "I'm going to my phone. I probably have about 500 text messages."
After Todd Bertuzzi made it 2-2 at 17:55, Porter scored what proved to be the winner 29 seconds later.
St. Louis outscored Detroit 5-1 in the second on goals from Matt D'Agostini, Brandon Crombeen, David Backes, Roman Polak and Vladimir Sobotka. Detroit didn't score again after Henrik Zetterberg's 24th goal of the season midway through the period.
Patrik Berglund's goal early in the period and Porter's second goal of the game with 2:10 left came long after many of the 20,066 fans had left.
"Today we got outworked," Zetterberg said. "Today we were a disgrace. You just got to go home and forget about it, come back home and regroup."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report.