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>>caption: BERTUZZI (#44) GETS
THE SHOOTOUT WINNING GOAL<<
@ ST. LOUIS, MO:
Stymied almost all night long by
Blues goaltender Brian Elliott, the
Red Wings got hot late and managed
a 3-2 Wednesday night shootout
win at St. Louis.
Johan Franzen scored both Detroit regulation goals in the final 7:05 and
Todd Bertuzzi beat Elliott for the only goal of the shootout session.
In the final days of the regular season and with the Blues fighting for the
President's Trophy (#1 overall in the NHL) plus the Red Wings scrapping for
the fourth playoff seed in the Western Conference, neither team managed
to score until the 3rd-Per.
It appeared the Wings had a golden opportunity to snap the scoreless tie
when when Ryan Reaves of the Blues drew a 5-min major and a game
misconduct for ramming the face of Detroit DEF Brad Stuart into the end
zone glass at 6:01/3. Instead, it was the Blues who broke the deadlock.
David Perron (#20) stole the puck from Detroit's Valtteri Filppula in the
neutral zone, went on a breakaway, faked Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard
to the ice and backhanded top shelf at 7:18/3 for the shorthanded tally.
The Blues made it 2-0 just 3:01 later on another unassisted goal. Andy
McDonald (#10) stripped the puck from Jakub Kindal in the Detroit zone
and quickly stuffed it past Howard at 10:19/3 in a 4-on-4 situation.
Just when it looked like Detroit was dead, Franzen scored twice only
2:15 apart. Pavel Datsyuk passed out of the left corner to Franzen (#27)
in the slot for a sweep shot at 13:55. Datsyuk did it again, sending a cross-
ice feed from the left corner to Franzen (#28) at the open right corner of
Elliott's net at 16:10/3 and Franzen lifted the disc over the sprawling goalie.
Bertuzzi ended the shootout in the bottom of the 3rd-round when he
skated straight at Eliott, stickhandled, faked the goalie down and backhanded
over Elliott's glovehand and underneath the crossbar.
Howard made 27-SV and Elliott 26 through 65-mins.
The victory again allowed Detroit to leap-frog over Nashville into fourth
place in the west, 101-to-100 standings points. Each team has two regular
season games remaining.
The win ended a seven game road winless streak (0-5-2) for the Wings.
The Blues now have 107 standings points, two behind both the New York
Rangers and Vancouver.
R-WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK: "We haven't been as good; there's good reason.
Injuries are excuses, but they're reality, too. We had a ton of them and then when
you get these guys back, it takes them a while to get skating. We played a team
that's physical and forechecks hard and I thought we got better as the game went on."
R-WINGS Rt-WING TODD BERTUZZI: "I liked our competitiveness and our will...
Howie's been a huge boost, the way he's been in shootouts. He's basically unbeatable
right now. Pavel's confident, Huds [Jiri Hudler] has scored some big goals and I feel
pretty confident going down [in the shootouts], too."
R-WINGS L-WING JOHAN FRANZEN: "Two great passes from Pav [on his two goals].
Bert did a good job before that, holding onto the puck, occupying people."
R-WINGS GOALIE JIMMY HOWARD: "I feel I'm unbeatable out there [in shootouts]...
and then we got Pavel, Huds and Bert, three great guys that go in there and put
some really good moves on the goaltender [st the other end]."
R-WINGS DEF BRAD STUART: "This time of the year, to get a win like that is huge.
To fight back and get the one point and then get the shootout, more than anything
is good for our morale...You're going to find yourself in a situation in the playoffs
where you're down and you got to fight back. The fact that we did tonight is a
good boost for us.''
Detroit is 9-2 in shootouts this season. The Blues are 4-10.
Bertuzzi now had 10 career shootout game-winners. He is 5-for-9 in
shootout attempts this season.
Franzen's first goal ended Elliott's shutout streak at 241:33, more than four
Detroit DEF Kyle Quincey sat out a one game NHL suspension.
The Red Wings beat the Blues 4-2 in the season series with all the decisions
home ice wins until Wednesday's contest. The Wings won four in a row after losing
the first two early season meetings at St. Louis.
Detroit hit the 100 point plateau for a 12th consecutive season.
The Blues blocked 24 shots to just four for Detroit.
Perron has four goals in his last four games.
The Blues are winless in their last three (0-1-2), their first such skid since the
end of December (27th--31st).
The Red Wings host New Jersey at The Joe Thursday night.
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