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BLUES AVOID DETROIT SWEEP.....St. Louis 5, RED WINGS 4, Th 4/2/09
Posted on: 04-02-2009

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>>caption:  BLUES BOYD (L) HUGS
BACKES (R) FOR DAVE'S BIG GAME<<

@ JOE LOUIS ARENA:

    The Blues got a career night from
David Backes to edge the Red Wings
5-4.
    Backes scored his first career NHL
Hat Trick plus one more for a four goal night to reach the 30-goal plateau for
the first time in his NHL career.
    The haze at The Joe wasn't fog above the ice caused by 60-degree outside
temperatures. It was smoke coming out of the ears of Wings coach Mike
Babcock who watched his team drop to 0-3 on the current 4-game homestand.
    Twice Detroit rallied to tie from two goal defecits and both times Backes
quickly put St. Louis back in front, including potting the game-winning goal
with 4:07 remaining in regulation.
    Following a scoreless 1st-Per Backes scored twice just 3:24 apart to give
St. Louis a 2-0 margin by 9:26/2. Pavel Datsyuk (#31) at 14:43/2 and Nicklas
Lidstrom (#14, a PPG) at 1:13/3 deadlocked it 2-all for Detroit. Just 24-sec after
Lidstrom's goal, Backes had the Blues back in front 3-2.
    Andy McDonald (#14) upped the margin to 4-2 only 1:16 after Backes had
registered his Hat Trick. A pretty goal by Detroit's Johan Franzen (#33) just
59-sec later made it 4-3 at 3:52/3 as Franzen jumped around Blues DEF Mike
Weaver, then got off his shot while falling to the ice. Just 17-sec after a
boarding penalty to Backes had expired, Detroit kept up the pressure and Niklas
Kronwall (#5) scored on a high slot slapshot at 15:17/3 to re-tie the contest 4-4.
However, Backes again responded, this time within 36-sec, and fired a drive from
the right circle through the legs of Wings DEF Jonathan Ericsson and past Detroit
goalie Ty Conklin for the GWG at 15:53/3.
    Blues netnminder Chris Mason made his 29th consecutive start and allowed more
than 3-GA for the first time in 10 outings, but made 34-SV for the win. Conklin made
28 stops.        
    In their final try, St. Louis avoided a season sweep by Detroit after losing to the
Red Wings in the first five meetings. The victory vaulted the Blues from 9th place to
7th place in the NHL Western Conference standings, from out of the playoffs to in with
a week and a half left in the regular season.
    The Wings loss all but mathematically eliminated them from catching San Jose for
the top playoff seeding in the West. The Sharks have 113-pts to Detroit's 107. Both
clubs have five games remaining.

QUOTEBOOK...

R-WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK:   "Mad is an interesting word. Frustrated is a waste
of time. I'm just telling you I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed in the job I'm getting done
here. I'm disappointed in the group right now. This is very un-Red Wing-like...This is
unacceptable."

R-WINGS DEF NIKLAS KRONWALL:   "We need to do a better job of getting to the
puck a lot quicker...Taking the puck first...I don't know if we're thinking too much
or what's gloing on...(St. Louis) took over and did a good job."

R-WINGS GOALIE TY CONKLIN:   "Four goals (for Detroit) and not to come away
with (standings) points, it's disappointing to say the least."

BLUES Rt-WING DAVID BACKES:   "I don't know what happened...(It was) One of those
games where you kind of black out and then they're patting you on the back...A great
effort by a few of my linemates, setting me up on goals, and a great team effort there
at the end to clamp down against a team that never gave up against us."

BLUES GOALIE CHRIS MASON:   "We just battled in the third period. It was back and
forth and we got the two points."

BLUES H-COACH ANDY MURRAY:   "We felt that David had the potential to be a 30-goal
scorer. But we didn't think it would happen here in Detroit."

OVERTIME:

    Franzen confirmed his agent is close to agreement on a contract extension
with Detroit. Franzen is a potential 2009 free agent.
    Lidstrom's goal was his 115th regular season PPG, moving him past former
Red Wings HoFamer Larry Murphy into seventh place on the all-time NHL list
for defensemen.
    Lidstrom and Kronwall each had 1-G & 2-A for 3-P nights. Datsyuk and Franzen
both had 1-G & 1-A.
    McDonald had 1-G & 1-A for St. Louis while Brad Boyes had a pair of assists.
    The last time Mason allowed 4-GA in a game was also vs Detroit in a MAR 14TH
Blues loss at St. Louis.
    The Blues won at The Joe for the first time in over a year (3/28/2008).
    Wings DEF Brian Rafalski missed his second straight game with a groin injury.
    Sunday's home game vs the Minnesota Wild has been switched from 5pm to a
12:30pm/EDT start time to accommodate national television broadcast by NBC.
     
                                                                 ###

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