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Wings, Blues add chapter to classic rivalry

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings and St. Louis Blues should know each other pretty well by now.

Not only do the Wings and Blues both play in the Central Division, they'll be seeing each other for the fourth time in less than four weeks when they get together Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena on Rivalry Night (NBCSN/TSN2). The Red Wings were routed 6-0 in St. Louis on opening night, but earned a 5-3 win in Detroit on Feb. 1 and beat the Blues 5-1 in St. Louis six days later.

After going 6-1-0 in January, the Blues are trying to snap a slide that has seen them lose all five games this month, including the two to the Red Wings. Detroit is trying to extend a three-game winning streak that began with the victory at St. Louis last week.

Here's a statistical look at two teams who've been battling each other for more than 45 years.

All-time series: The Red Wings' two wins this month have put them back on top in the all-time series between the teams. Detroit has won 118 times to 116 for the Blues; 37 games ended in ties. The Blues' win on opening night is their only victory against Detroit in the teams' last seven meetings. St. Louis has also lost its last four visits to Detroit since handing the Wings one of the worst losses in franchise history -- a 10-3 shellacking on March 30, 2011.

Back to the start: The Blues were the opponents on Dec. 27, 1979, when the Red Wings played their first game at Joe Louis Arena -- they spoiled the night for the 19,742 in attendance by scoring twice in the third period for a 3-2 victory. In all, the teams have played 105 times at the Joe; the Red Wings have won 57, the Blues have 36 victories and 12 games ended in a tie.

Tiebreakers: The Red Wings and Blues have gone past regulation 13 times since the arrival of the shootout in 2005. The Blues have a 4-3 advantage in games decided in overtime, and they've split six contests that went to a shootout, with Detroit winning three of the last four since February 2009.

Streaks: The Blues are hitting the road after what coach Ken Hitchcock called "the homestand from hell" -- they went 0-3-1 and have dropped five in a row. A sixth consecutive loss would be St. Louis' longest slide since going 0-5-2 in December 2009-January 2010. In contrast, the Red Wings have won a season-high three in a row, including back-to-back home games last weekend.

Shot squelchers: Despite their slump, the Blues continue to do a better job than anyone else at limiting the opposition's shots on goals. Through their first 12 games, they've limited opponents to a League-low 22.2 shots per game while taking 30.2 of their own. St. Louis limited Detroit to just 14 shots in its 6-0 win on opening night, but the Red Wings have had 29 and 31 shots in their two victories. Detroit's 31 shots in the Blues' last visit were the most St. Louis has allowed in any game this season.

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