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Red Wings 4, Blues 1 @NHL

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Tomas Holmstrom's job has gotten a whole lot easier in the new NHL.

Holmstrom scored two goals and added an assist, and the Detroit Red Wings stayed perfect on the road with a 4-1 victory over the slumping St. Louis Blues on Sunday night.

Over the years, Holmstrom absorbed much punishment while camping in front of the opponent's net. With the NHL clamping down on interference, hooking and holding, Holmstrom is scoring more without having to pay the physical price.

``They can't do much to you anymore,'' he said. ``Now, they try to stand in front of you and block the shot rather than push you around.''

Holmstrom has come on lately, scoring five goals in three games.

``He's got a little magic going right now,'' Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.

So do the Red Wings when they are away from Joe Louis Arena. After losing two straight at home, the Red Wings won their seventh straight road game.

Detroit is the only NHL team without a road loss this season (7-0). The Red Wings have outscored opponents 31-10 on enemy ice.

``I thought our discipline was good,'' Babcock said. ``Our defense really managed the puck. The second half of the game, they didn't have the puck much.''

The Blues are going in the opposite direction, having lost a club-record eight straight - including overtime defeats. St. Louis had lost seven consecutive twice, the last from Feb. 12-25, 1989.

Detroit goalie Chris Osgood, who played in St. Louis the season before the NHL lockout, said it's a different atmosphere there now.

``It's a good place to play,'' Osgood said. ``It's a shame to see the stands. I watch the games on TV and there's hardly anyone in the crowd.

``Hopefully they can get everything straightened out and get some people back.''

Mike Sillinger, who had the only St. Louis goal, said his team just has to move forward.

``We've had a terrible last 10 games,'' he said. ``Tonight, we had a better effort, but we still didn't get the results.''

Since 2002-03, Detroit is 12-1-1 against St. Louis and has held the Blues under two goals 10 times.

Brendan Shanahan and Henrik Zetterberg also scored for Detroit, and Osgood made 26 saves.

Patrick Lalime continued to struggle, as he allowed three goals on the first 15 shots he faced. Lalime finished with 21 saves.

Shanahan gave the Red Wings a lead they would never surrender when he put his rebound past Lalime at 10:07 of the first period.

Holmstrom made it 2-0 at 1:06 of the second when he broke down the right wing and beat Lalime with a snap shot from the top of the right circle.

The Blues cut the lead to one with a power-play goal when Sillinger's slap shot from the left point deflected off Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios and past Osgood at 4:04. But Holmstrom quickly restored the two-goal lead with a power-play tally 4:31 later.

Zetterberg made it 4-1 just 1:31 into the third period.

Notes: Sillinger extended his point streak to four games. ... The Red Wings have not lost in St. Louis since April 14, 2002. ... Chelios was given a misconduct for the second straight game when he was sent off for arguing after Sillinger's goal.

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