Wings lose second straight
Leading by two goals through one period and still holding a lead with the game more than half over, the Red Wings then had their worst period of the season and dropped a 4-3 decision to the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center.
St. Louis scored four second-period goals on five shots in a 10:42 span to take a 4-2 lead. Detroit had eight shots on goal during that span, including a Dan Cleary breakaway and a Jiri Hudler point-blank one-timer, but couldn't muster another goal until there was just 4:47 left in the game.
"It's disappointing," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock. "You're up 2-0 and you've got everything under control and you're getting chance after chance after chance and fail to have the killer instinct to put the game away. When it was 2-1, (St. Louis goalie Manny) Legace made big saves. We had numerous guys in alone on him. We failed to execute and put it in the back of the net."
The loss stands out as an anomaly in the Red Wings' young season.
It was the first game in which Henrik Zetterberg failed to register a point, ending his streak of 17 straight games.
"It had to end some time," said Zetterberg. "Unfortunately, it did when we lost."
It was the first time this season that Detroit (13-4-1) lost for the second straight game. It was the first time this season that Detroit has allowed four goals in a period and just the third time that the Red Wings have allowed four goals in a game.
It was the second straight game that Detroit has gone into the second period down two goals. The Red Wings are 2-11-0 over the past four seasons when trailing by two goals through two periods.
Perhaps the biggest anomaly was goalie Dominik Hasek being pulled 35:51 into the game after allowing the fourth goal. It was the first time this season that a Red Wing goalie has been lifted from a game.
"To me this is a team thing, not a Dom thing," said Babcock. "We needed to change something."
Hasek allowed four goals on seven second-period shots. The Blues managed to get just 16 shots on goal in the contest.
"Any time you give up four goals on seven shots, it doesn't look good," said Hasek. "I'm disappointed. Two goals on power plays, a breakaway, a nice shot … I have to look at the replay and see what I did wrong."
The first St. Louis goal came with both Cleary and Kris Draper in the penalty box. Keith Tkachuk whacked a rebound past Hasek to cut Detroit's lead to 2-1 5:09 into the second period.
With 6:46 on the second-period clock, rookie David Perron snuck behind Chris Chelios and scored on a breakaway. A minute later, Perron had his second goal of the night when he swept in the rebound of a power-play shot from the point.
Perron has four goals in his eight NHL games. He was drafted 27th overall this summer by the Blues, one pick before the Red Wings took defenseman Brendan Smith with their first pick.
With 4:09 left in the second period, St. Louis took a 4-2 lead when Jamal Mayers beat Hasek with a slap shot from the faceoff circle that went in high blocker side just inside the post and crossbar.
"We just couldn't stop them in that second period," said Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom. "We made some bad decisions that cost us."
Detroit took the lead 4:30 into the game when Pavel Datsyuk skipped a wrist shot from the blue line that bounced past Legace.
The Red Wings doubled their advantage in the first period when Cleary scored his sixth goal of the season on a good looking play. In the slot with his back to the net, Cleary lifted a backhand shot over Legace's glove when the goalie went down to his knees.
Valtteri Filppula scored the Red Wings' third goal, one-timing a pass from Hudler as he came off the bench and down the pipe.
That, however, wasn't enough to overcome earlier mistakes and missed opportunities.
"We made too many mental mistakes, costly mistakes where all of a sudden the guy is home free," said Babcock. "We don't normally do that."