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Red Wings 3, Blues 2 @NHLdotcom

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Red Wings overcame a slow start and got a break on the winning goal.

Henrik Zetterberg scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:55 remaining and Detroit rallied for a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night.

Zetterberg got his 24th of the season when he put in the rebound of Andreas Lilja's shot just after Lilja had come out of the penalty box.

``Unfortunately for us, the guy steps out of the penalty box as soon as they start a rush,'' Blues goalie Curtis Sanford said. ``And Zetterberg makes a great play to beat our defenseman.''

Lilja came in off the left wing and took a shot that Sanford knocked away, but Zetterberg was there to slam the puck into the empty net.

``Andreas made a pretty good shot,'' Zetterberg said. ``I came around. He would have been mad at me if I had missed that one.''

Mikael Samuelsson and Brendan Shanahan also scored for Detroit, and Manny Legace made 29 saves. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall, playing in his first game after preseason knee surgery, had two assists.

Lee Stempniak and Keith Tkachuk scored for St. Louis, and Sanford stopped 35 shots.

Shanahan's goal 8:10 into the third period tied the game at 2. His slap shot from just inside the blue line beat Sanford for his 24th goal.

Stempniak opened the scoring at 8:37, when he put in Dean McAmmond's rebound.

Tkachuk - playing for the first time since breaking his right hand Dec. 16 - made it 2-0 with 5:06 remaining in the opening period, poking in Peter Cajanek's shot after it had slithered through Legace's pads.

``You've got to give their guys credit,'' Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. ``A bunch of young kids, you know they're going to work hard.''

And Detroit didn't work nearly as hard.

``The whole team wasn't involved,'' Kronwall said. ``The second period, there was more offense and we created more chances.''

Samuelsson capitalized on one to put Detroit on the board 5:05 into the second period, when he tipped in a pass from Zetterberg to cut the Blues' lead to 2-1.

Detroit outshot St. Louis 18-7 in the period.

``We're up 2-0 and they play almost the entire second period in our end,'' Tkachuk said.


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