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Steen's tally lifts Blues past Red Wings in OT

by Louie Korac

DETROIT -- They might not be all the way there yet, but Wednesday's overtime win in a building that's been difficult on them certainly lifted the spirits of the St. Louis Blues.

Alex Steen's goal 52 seconds into overtime helped the Blues break a five-game losing streak with a 4-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

Steen banked a shot in off Jimmy Howard when Barret Jackman threw a puck at Howard that caromed into the low slot. Steen was on the doorstep and popped in his third goal in as many games helping the Blues snap an 0-4-1 slide.

"I was just hoping something would bounce out," Steen said. "I got lucky."

Jackman, who saw Steen driving the net, felt like a rebound could be had.

"I was just trying to get a rebound," Jackman said, "especially in overtime. Any shot on net is a potential goal. I was trying to pick top corner, put it in the middle of his chest and Steener did a great job of coming over the top and driving the net. We got a bounce and luckily we got it in."

Chris Stewart tallied a goal and an assist, Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Tarasenko added goals and Jake Allen, making his first NHL start, stopped 15 shots, and it was Allen's clutch left pad stop on Detroit's Damien Brunner in overtime seconds before the Blues rushed to the other end to get the winner after falling behind 2-0 early in the game.

"I saw [Brunner] driving the net there," said Allen, who coach Ken Hitchcock declared the starter Friday in Calgary. "I saw him drive the net, so I pushed a little bit and got my pad on it. I was glad for that save.

"It was not the way you wanted to start a game, especially the first one you start. What can you do? The puck goes in the net. You can't take it back. So you've just got to stick with it. Even though they got up 2-0, I knew we were still capable. I wasn't worried at all."

Hitchcock called the early 2-0 deficit remnants that were left over from the previous five games.

"The first period is the debris left over from not having success," Hitchcock said. "Once we really started to check and play, we really played well. We did all the things that we know how to do and we're hard to play against when we play like that. Once we dialed up the checking, I thought we felt more comfortable on the ice. Our guys seemed to be two steps quicker.

"I knew there was going to be debris left over. We had some very emotional losses."

Detroit, which had its three-game winning streak snapped, got goals from Tomas Tatar, Drew Miller and Pavel Datsyuk. Howard, after stopping 45 shots in a 3-2 win against Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon, stopped 21 shots Wednesday.

"Give them credit," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "It's a 60-minute game. We knew it was going to be a 60-minute game."

Tatar added his first goal of the season and second of his career, winning a battle near Allen, then going forehand-backhand and roofing the puck in just 2:17 into the game.

Miller scored his first of the season, the 19th time the Blues have allowed a player to score their first goals of the season, on a give-and-go with Jordin Tootoo and slipping a puck through Allen 7:54 into the opening period.

"I think that's what I've learned over the last three years is just to stick with it," Allen said. " I wasn't worried. It showed. We battled back and won."

But the Blues, who have fallen behind in five of the last six games, got a huge goal when Berglund notched his team-leading sixth of the season with a shorthanded tally after T.J. Oshie beat Brunner and Justin Abdelkader before feeding Berglund for a one-timer with 4:42 left in the period.

"The part for me that was tough is the penalty kill goal we give up when we're trying to score, not even off a clean play," Babcock said. "We get caught and then the line change goal ... those things, I mean, those are crazy, crazy, crazy plays."

And the Blues thrived off the big goal, coming out firing and tilting the ice in their favor. They grabbed a lead by scoring twice in 1:45 when Tarasenko and Stewart both caught Berglund with their sixth goals of the season for a 3-2 lead.

Babcock called a timeout to regroup his players.

"We had her going and we came off it big-time in the second period, stopped putting pucks in and turning them over," Babcock said. "Then we wind up getting one point instead of two points."

Tarasenko took Stewart's saucer feed and beat a screened Howard at 7:12 on the power play, giving the Blues an 8-for-14 conversion rating against Detroit this season, and Stewart took a stretch pass from Alex Pietrangelo and beat Howard on a backhand breakaway attempt at 8:57.

Datsyuk tied the game with 7:21 left in the second when he caught Allen peeling off the left post and banked one in from behind the net after the Wings had sustained some good pressure. It's the 15th straight period the Blues have allowed a goal dating back to the second period of their 5-3 loss here in Detroit on Feb. 1.

Neither team scored in the third and the Blues had their team game going so well, they held Detroit to one third-period shot, and 24 blocked shots in the game attributed to a lot of that.

"We're not there yet, but this is a real boost for our team," Hitchcock said. "This is a boost that we can go back and play the way we played last year and have success. We scored, we checked, we held the opposition ... I think we allow the fewest shots on goal in the National Hockey League by far, and that's the way we've got to play to win right now. We've got to limit the opposition until we get the ship righted here."

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