The Detroit Red Wings have the luxury of six-time Vezina Trophy winner Dominik Hasek on their roster. The St. Louis Blues would settle for one healthy goaltender.
Forced to look to the minor leagues for the second time in less than a week after injuries sidelined their top two goaltenders, the Blues (7-16-3) try to end a season-high five-game losing streak Thursday when they complete a home-and-home series with the Detroit Red Wings (15-7-4).
After nearly an hour-long pregame ceremony to retire Brett Hull's No. 16 on Tuesday, St. Louis' Manny Legace gave up three first-period goals in a 5-1 loss to Detroit.
He was replaced by Jason Bacashihua, who finished with 18 saves over the final two periods.
Bacashihua was recalled Sunday from Peoria of the AHL to replace Curtis Sanford, who will miss up to eight weeks with a torn groin. A native of Garden City, Mich., Bacashihua lost his only career start against the Red Wings as a rookie last season, and has never faced them in nearby Detroit.
Bacashihua will be the Blues' top goaltender with Legace now also unavailable. Legace was placed on injured reserve Thursday, a day after being knocked unconscious in practice when he was struck by a puck in the mask.
The Blues recalled 20-year-old Marek Schwarz from their AHL team in Peoria, Ill. to serve as the backup.
Last season, the Blues used four goaltenders - Sanford, Bacashihua, Patrick Lalime and Reinhard Divis - and finished with the worst record in franchise history (21-46-15).
Bacashihua is expected to start against Detroit. Schwarz, selected 17th overall by the Blues in the 2004 entry draft, was 9-2-0 with a 2.28 goals-against average for the Rivermen.
"We wanted to have a good start after not having moved around for close to 45 minutes," said defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who leads the Red Wings with 16 assists and 22 points. "We talked about a quick start after that long ceremony."
The goal was Datsyuk's first in 16 games. Daniel Cleary, Valtteri Flippula and Robert Lang also scored.
Hasek's bid for his second straight and league-leading fifth shutout of the season ended when he gave up Eric Brewer's first goal of the season with 3:24 to play. He remains tied with Atlanta's Kari Lehtonen, Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff with four shutouts each.
The 41-year-old Hasek finished with 24 saves to improve to 12-4-3 with a league-best 1.83 GAA. On home ice, though, the future Hall of Famer is 7-1-3 with a 1.61 GAA and two shutouts.
One of those home losses came Nov. 24 against St. Louis. After Lidstrom tied the score midway through the third period with a power-play goal, Hasek allowed shootout tallies to Martin Rucinsky and Doug Weight in a 3-2 loss.
The defeat was only Detroit's third in 16 games at Joe Louis Arena.
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