Blues-Red Wings Preview
GAME: St. Louis Blues (3-12-3) at Detroit Red Wings (15-4-2).
TIME: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
After a winless three-game road trip, the Detroit Red Wings look to defeat the St. Louis Blues for the fourth time this season when the teams meet at Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit had trouble generating offense on the first two games of its trip, managing a total of two goals in losses to Vancouver and Calgary. The Red Wings had no difficulty scoring Thursday night, but played a sloppy game in falling 6-5 in overtime to Edmonton.
Steve Yzerman had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings, who blew a two-goal lead in the third period before rallying to force overtime. Detroit scored twice on the power play, but let Edmonton convert 3-of-8 chances with the man advantage.
"It was ugly," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We've got to get home and get regrouped."
Chris Osgood, who went 31-25-8 with the Blues in 2003-04, started for the first time since Nov. 6 and made 22 saves against the Oilers. Manny Legace, who has two of Detroit's three wins against St. Louis this season, should be back in net Saturday.
The Red Wings have lost once in their last 14 games against the Blues since 2002-03, and have outscored them 13-5 this season.
St. Louis ended a franchise-record 11-game losing streak, and won for the first time in eight road games this season with a 2-0 victory over Columbus on Wednesday night. Curtis Sanford, playing just his 10th career game, turned aside 36 shots for his second career shutout.
"To get out of a streak like that, where everything is snowballing - every time you make a mistake it's in the net, everybody's squeezing their sticks - you need an ugly win and a big effort from a goaltender," Blues center Doug Weight said. "Sandy came in and made some great saves and put us in position to win."
Lee Stempniak had a goal and an assist for St. Louis, which hadn't won since a 3-2 victory over Anaheim on Oct. 19
"It's a big relief to have the streak over," Blues coach Mike Kitchen said. "That's been hanging over our heads for a long time now."
The Blues, though, got some bad news one day after the win as they learned defenseman Eric Brewer will miss at least four weeks with a separation of the AC joint in his right shoulder.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 18): Blues - 9 points, 5th place, 23 PB, Central Division. Red Wings - 32 points, 1st place, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Blues - Jamal Mayers, 6 goals and 37 PIM; Petr Cajanek, 14 assists and 16 points. Red Wings - Brendan Shanahan, 11 goals; Jason Williams, 15 assists; Pavel Datsyuk, 23 points; Chris Chelios, 54 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 18): Blues - Power play: 13.7 percent (17 for 124), 25th in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.6 percent (96 for 119), 21st. Red Wings - Power play: 24.8 percent (31 for 125), 2nd. Penalty killing: 85.1 percent (109 for 128), 7th (tied).
GOALTENDERS: Blues - Patrick Lalime (2-9-3, 4.00 GAA); Sanford (1-1-0, 1 SO, 1.53). Red Wings - Legace (12-3-0, 2, 2.08); Osgood (3-1-2, 2.97).
SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 3-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 6; Red Wings, 4-1. At St. Louis, Tomas Holmstrom had two goals and an assist, and Osgood made 26 saves for Detroit.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blues - 1-5-2 on the road; Red Wings - 8-2-1 at home.