Detroit — If nothing else, the St. Louis Blues were extremely efficient Saturday.
And though the Red Wings felt they deserved a better fate, to an extent, the Blues were that much better in a 6-1 victory.
What kind of game was this?
The Blues had four goals on nine shots through two periods. At that point, the Red Wings had no goals on 21 shots.
Red Wings coach discusses his team's standout play in the first two periods of a 6-1 loss. Ted Kulfan
“Certainly through the first 40 (minutes), we played as well as we probably have,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “Honestly, the 40 in totality was better than the other night against Winnipeg (in a Red Wings win).
“The pucks didn’t go in one way, and went in the other way.”
St. Louis wound up with 22 shots, doing their damage efficiently and capitalizing on some quirky bounces and deflections.
Frans Nielsen scored in the third period, the Wings’ only goal on 29 shots.
Goalie Jimmy Howard (four goals allowed on 10 shots) was relieved by Petr Mrazek to begin the third period.
“It all comes down to I have to make some saves for the guys,” Howard said.
Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Sobotka, Scottie Upshall, Jay Bouwmeester, Dmitrij Jaskin and Brayden Schenn had goals for the Blues (20-8-2, 42 points).
Blues goalie Jake Allen stopped 28 shots for the victory.
The Red Wings (11-13-5, 27 points) lost their eighth game in the last nine (1-5-3).
Red Wings forward discussing how the 6-1 loss to the Blues was not indicative of how Detroit played. Ted Kulfan
“I don’t think a 6-1 score (reflects) how the game went,” Nielsen said. “We definitely didn’t like the score but we did some good things out there. We did some real good things.
“I’m a big believer that over 82 games in this league you get what you deserve. We have to keep believing and working out there.”
The Blues opened in the scoring in the first period on Schwartz’s 14th goal, capping off a nice passing play.
Joel Edmundson found Schwartz entering the zone and Schwartz skated into the slot and beat Howard at 11:50.
The Red Wings had two power plays in the opening 20 minutes but failed to get a puck past Allen despite good pressure — including one, just before Schwartz’s goal.
“We had some chances on that power play and got scored on right away,” Nielsen said. “It’s tough, but our mentality was better. After they scored, we kept playing hard.
“These games are tough ones to swallow.”
The Blues broke the game open in the second period, with three goals on six shots.
Sobotka made it 2-0 at 4:07 of the second period, with a great wrist shot from near the dot off the rush.
Upshall extended the lead to 3-0 at 6:17, a breakaway goal, after a Niklas Kronwall turnover at the blue line.
Bouwmeester capped the second-period barrage with his first goal, at 16:26, snapping a shot from the blue line that Howard may have been screened on.
“I’ve been frustrated and mad the way we’ve been playing lately,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “But today, you don’t want to lose at home 6-1, but the first two periods we did a lot good things but the puck ended up in our net rather than their net.”