If hockey games lasted 52 minutes, the St. Louis Blues would have been heading to overtime with the Detroit Red Wings after a hard-fought, scrappy game. Unfortunately for them, they last 60 minutes.
Danny Cleary broke a 3-3 tie, knocking a pass from Mike Modano past Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak, with 7:34 left in the third period. The Wings scored three more times in 3:14, with goals from Henrik Zetterberg, Brad Stuart and Tomas Holmstrom, leading to a 7-3 victory at Joe Louis Arena.
Cleary is currently the hottest player in the NHL. With two goals tonight, he extended his league-longest game goal streak to six, scoring eight goals in those six games. Cleary is leading the Wings with nine goals this season.
The Wings fourth line continues to shine with a rotating cast. Tonight Drew Miller got the call from coach Mike Babcock, and responded with his first goal of the season with some help from Halak. While trying to clear Miller’s shot into the corner Halak inadvertently shot the puck into the back of his own net, giving the Wings an early 1-0 lead with 11:55 to go in the first period. Justin Abelkader also scored his third of the season with 6:18 left in the second period.
Defenseman Brian Rafalski continues to improve after his return from knee surgery with three assists tonight, and some solid play on defense. Rafalski is +8 in six games with six points.
The unsung hero of the Wings victory tonight would be goaltender Jimmy Howard who was starting his seventh game in a row. Howard made two big saves that kept the Wings alive. The first was a nice toe save as time expired in the first period, and a pretty glove save with 11:00 to go in the third period. Howard made 33 saves on 36 shots, and improved his record to 10-1-1.
Tonight’s game was the 1,000th victory for Wings general manager Ken Holland. The team is 4-0 on its current six-game home stand, and welcomes the Minnesota Wild to the Joe Louis Arena on Friday night.
About the Author
Written by Jeremy Klumpp
I am a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Electronic Media and Film. For two years I wrote a baseball blog, "Ground Rule Double," and have contributed to a book on the 1968 Detroit Tigers. If you want to read my non-sports thoughts head to jklumpp1.posterous.com.