Tatar was announced as a late scratch due to illness, flu-like symptoms.
Tatar did participate in the morning skate.
Darren Helm moved back up to the Datsyuk line with Larkin.
Joakim Andersson returned to the lineup for Tatar and played on a line with Luke Glendening and Tomas Jurco.
Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues had illness problems of their own as rookie defenseman Colton Parayko missed both the morning skate and game as he was sick.
The Blues had to play with just five defensemen as Carl Gunnarsson, out for four games with an upper-body injury, was not yet available.
Joel Edmundson, Jay Bouwmeester, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alex Pietrangelo and Andre Benoit were the Blues defensemen.
Petr Mrazek started in goal for Detroit and Brian Elliott started for St. Louis.
Brad Richards had a couple of good chances in the first period as the Wings out-shot the Blues but Elliott made the saves.
The Blues had a power-play chance when Tomas Jurco was called for cross-checking Scottie Upshall at 13:06.
The Wings' penalty killers were very aggressive and did not allow the Blues any shots during their power play.
The Wings then went through an unlucky stretch as Pietrangelo's shot went off of Ty Rattie's leg, deflecting past Mrazek at 18:01. David Backes had the second assist.
Pavel Datsyuk had an open net at 18:14 (see video above) but the puck squirted through the crease past the net.
ST. LOUIS 1, DETROIT 0
SCORING: 1. STL, Rattie (Pietrangelo, Backes), 18:01.
PENALTIES: 1. DET, Jurco (cross-checking), 13:06.
SHOTS: Detroit 11, St. Louis 7.
The Blues came out on the attack in the second, out-shooting the Wings 5-1 at the start.
Then Teemu Pulkkinen was called for high-sticking Joel Edmundson at 5:59.
The Blues did not get a shot until there was just two seconds left in the man-advantage when Paul Stastny was in the low slot and tried to deflect a shot but Mrazek was there.
The Wings finally got a chance on the power play when Patrik Berglund was called for high-sticking Brendan Smith.
Smith, a newcomer to the power play's second unit, did not get a lot of time as the first unit held the puck for most of the two minutes.
Gustav Nyquist had a good chance at 10:11 but Elliott made the save.
Danny DeKeyser got loose in the slot at 13:15 but Elliott was there.
Jori Lehtera was called for hooking Datsyuk at 13:16 but the Wings were unable to capitalize and tie the game.
ST. LOUIS 1, DETROIT 0
PENALTIES: 1. DET, Pulkkinen (high-sticking), 5:59; 2. STL, Berglund (high-sticking), 9:00; 3. STL, Lehtera (hooking), 13:16; 4. STL, Backes (interference), 14:21; 5. DET, Abdelkader (slashing), 14:21.
SHOTS: Detroit 9 (20), St. Louis 9 (16).
Mrazek had to work early in the third as Blues leading scorer Vladimir Tarasenko had two good chances early.
At 5:22, Elliott had to make a save on Kyle Quincey, who went hard to the right side of the net.
Then Elliott had to stop Andersson, who was trying to push home a rebound of Teemu Pulkkinen's shot from the right boards.
The Blues took a 2-0 lead at 12:13 when Dmitrij Jaskin weaved through Riley Sheahan, Jonathan Ericsson and Mike Green to deposit the puck in the left side of the net.
Backes and Pietrangelo picked up their second assists of the game.
The Wings finally capitalized on a man-advantage opportunity when Henrik Zetterberg scored into the far side of the net from the right circle with 2:13 remaining in regulation. Mike Green had the only assist.
But Larkin was called for hooking at 19:02, which didn't help the chances of tying the game.
The Blues snapped a four-game losing streak against the Wings.
ST. LOUIS 2, DETROIT 1
SCORING: 1. STL, Jaskin (Backes, Pietranglo), 12:13; 2. DET, Zetterberg PPG (Green), 17:47.
PENALTIES: 1. STL, Steen (elbowing), 16:43; 2. DET, Larkin (hooking), 19:02; 3. STL, Steen (hooking), 19:56.
SHOTS: Detroit 10 (30), St. Louis 4 (20).