To put it simply, the Red Wings beat the Blues because they won the special teams battle. Coming into the contest, the Blues were converting on the power play on over 40% of their chances. Detroit was 2-of-3 on the man advantage tonight, with goals from Tomas Holmstrom
and Nicklas Lidstrom
. St. Louis was 2-of-5. But the most important special teams stat? The fact that the Red Wings held the Blues at bay at the end of the game, when defenseman Brad Stuart
was in the box for roughing. Stopping the NHL’s best power play unit at the most important part of the game was the key in the 4-3 win.
Who was the star of the game?
Holmstrom gets the nod tonight, because he’s not going to show up on the score sheet as much as he should. He scored the second goal of the game on a beautiful passing play with his linemates Pavel Datsyuk
and Marian Hossa, but he also should get credit for the next Detroit tally. On a Red Wings’ power play, he was screening goaltender Manny Legace so well that he didn’t even see Lidstrom unleash a rocket from the point. Without Homer in front, Legace would make a routine save on a shot from the blue line, and the Wings wouldn’t have a commanding 3-0 lead.What was the save of the game?
Save of the game goes to Ty Conklin
, who displayed his flexibility in the first period. After a turnover, St. Louis forward Andy McDonald walked in on Conklin, and fired a pass cross-crease. Lee Stempniak tried to bang home the ‘gimme’ goal, but Conklin did the splits, spraying out his right leg to rob Stempniak of a sure goal. The save kept the game tied at 0-0 early, and a few minutes later the Wings took the early lead.