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Bertuzzi leads attack as Red Wings hold off St. Louis

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Tyler Bertuzzi of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his second-period goal with Luke Glendening.

Detroit — On his bobblehead night Wednesday Tyler Bertuzzi celebrated in the best way possible — by scoring goals.

Bertuzzi had two of them, and the second proved to be the winner in the third period of a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues.

Doing what he does so well, collecting loose pucks near the net, Bertuzzi pounced on a loose puck and beat goalie Jake Allen at 13 minutes, 7 seconds of the third period, snapping a 3-3 tie.

It was Bertuzzi's eighth goal of the season and the second of the game — the first, again, batting in a loose puck in the crease in the second period.

BOX SCORE: Red Wings 4, Blues 3

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“He goes to the hard areas, he always goes to the dirty areas,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “It was great to see him get rewarded.”

Teammates were kidding Bertuzzi about the bobblehead, but Bertuzzi admitted it felt good to score goals on the giveaway night.

“That’s a big one for me,” he said with a wide grin.

Bertuzzi has been a grinding player throughout his playing career, but has definitely taken to that style in the NHL.

“As you go up in leagues, it’s a little tougher to toe drag or dangle,” Bertuzzi said. “I’ve adapted to play hard and go hard to the net. That’s where a lot of goals (are scored).”

Bertuzzi settled into the lineup last season after Tomas Tatar was dealt at the trade deadline, and has found a home.

“He’s been a real consistent performer,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s a winning player. He does all the little things to win and he plays on the right side of the puck.”

Wednesday’s victory stopped a three-game losing streak for the Wings (11-11-3).

David Perron tied the score 3-3 at 8:04 of the third period, his second goal of the game, after the Blues had dominated for several shifts.

Perron wheeled from behind the net and tapped a loose puck past goaltender Jimmy Howard for his eighth goal.

The Wings lost a 3-0 lead and let St. Louis come back to tie — it’s often been the other way around this month, with the Wings rallying — but ultimately found a way to win.

“I didn’t think we were nearly as good in the second half of the game as we were in the first half,” Kronwall said. “That’s something we have to keep working on. But it’s nice to find a way to get the fourth (goal) and win the game.”

The Wings received good news on the health front, getting defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (lower body) back from injury — but promptly lost defenseman Trevor Daley (lower body) after the first period.

Blashill said the Wings will know more about Daley’s condition in the next day or two. Blashill didn’t think it was anything longterm for Daley, but did hint this weekend’s two games might be in jeopardy.

Goals by Thomas Vanek, Andreas Athanasiou and Bertuzzi, all in just under seven minutes in the second period, put the Wings ahead 3-0.

But the Blues roared back, thanks to a Wings parade to the penalty box.

David Perron and Vladimir Tarasenko scored power-play goals 1:49 apart, late in the second period.

“(It’s) 3-0 and we’re playing as good as we have all year,” Vanek said. “(But) we gave up all the momentum and suddenly we’re on our heels and couldn’t find our game again until it was 3-3. Then we all took a deep breath and started playing again.”


Twitter @tkulfan