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Blues give Wings own medicine on New Year's

Monday, 12.31.2007 / 9:49 PM ET / Recap
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Blues give Wings own medicine on New Year\'s
DETROIT – Puck control has been the name of the game for the league-leading Red Wings this season.

But the leaders in practically every statistical category received a bit of their own medicine Monday night at Joe Louis Arena.

The St. Louis Blues rolled into Hockeytown and handed the Wings their first shutout loss of the season, blanking the hosts, 2-0, before a disappointed sold-out New Year’s Eve crowd. It was the Blues’ first win in five games.

“We had no juice in the tank, and it was pretty obvious,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I thought we did alright for about 10-minutes at the start of the game. We didn’t have any jump. Give them credit, I thought they played good.”
WINGS CORNER

With traffic in front of the Wings’ net, St. Louis got the winner when Erik Johnson’s blast from the point found its way past goalie Dominik Hasek at 5:47 of the third period. Hasek made 21 saves.

The Blues (19-14-4) scored an unassisted, empty net goal from Lee Stempniak with 22-seconds left.
 
The Wings (29-8-3) had chances to score the equalizer, but Blues goalie Manny Legace was spectacular. The former Wings’ netminder came up with several key saves, including two consecutive stops of Jiri Hudler with little more than eight-minutes left in regulation.

Legace made 31 saves in earning his 14th win of the season and third against the Wings.

“I think we stopped getting pucks behind them,” Wings center Kris Draper said. “I don’t think we paid the price enough to make it tough on Legace, and that was the difference. We had some good chances late . . . but I don’t think we had sustained pressure through the game to win. It’s over and done with.”

St. Louis controlled the tempo for much of the game, and limited scoring chances for the Wings by working the puck out of its defensive zone. With Tomas Holmstrom sitting out his fourth straight game with a knee injury, it was apparent that the Wings missed his services from in front of the opposition’s net.

Detroit was also without the services of leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg (back spasms) and Krik Maltby (lower back), who has been out of the lineup since late November.

“Sure, we’ve had injuries, but they didn’t have Andy McDonald tonight," Babcock said. "It’s not like the teams you play don’t have injuries too. But the game is real simple: the team that works the hardest wins 95 percent of the games.”

McDonald, who was acquired from Anaheim earlier in the month, has missed three games with a pulled chest muscle.

The Wings had gone 65 games, dating back to last season, without suffering a shutout. In fact, the last team to hold the Wings scoreless, were the Blues. Legace and Curtis Sanford combined to blank the Wings, 1-0, on Feb. 8, 2007 -- snapped a streak of 176 straight games that Detroit hadn’t been held scoreless.

It was the first time that the Wings have lost on New Year’s Eve since 1998 when Toronto claimed a 4-2 victory.

St. Louis had the two best scoring opportunities. The first came when center Keith Tkachuk was robbed by Hasek – sprawled face-first on the ice – snatching the puck out of the air in the first period. The Blues were denied again in the second when Stempniak missed the mark, clanging a blast off a post.

Still, the Red Wings, who reached the Western Conference finals last season, closed out the calendar year in fine fashion, posting a 65-18-11 record in 2007.

The Wings finished the month of December with a 12-2-1 mark. Both regulation losses came at the hands of the Blues, including a 3-2 decision in St. Louis on Dec. 20.

The Wings’ next game is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. (ET) when they host the Dallas Stars.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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