Lucas Raymond and Magnus Hellberg lifted Detroit to a shootout victory at St. Louis on Tuesday. The Red Wings will look to make it two wins in a row when they host the Blues on Thursday.
Raymond scored the only goal during the shootout while Hellberg, Detroit’s backup goalie, stopped all four of the Blues’ attempts. Detroit (31-30-9, 71 points) had lost 10 of its previous 12 contests and was coming off a 5-2 loss to Florida on Monday.
The Wings can match last season’s win total with a victory on Thursday.
“We got what we deserved,” coach Derek Lalonde said. “I really appreciated the effort from the guys on a back-to-back, with travel, then to get down early in the game, we could have won this in regulation. I loved that we hung in there and in overtime and found a way in the shootout.”
The game unfolded in an odd fashion. Both teams scored twice during the first period, then no one could find the back of the net until Raymond’s game-ending shootout goal.
“It’s been a tough stretch of late,” Lalonde said. “We’ve talked about having something to play for a little bit, where our morale was, and I give the guys a ton of credit. They played with some urgency (Tuesday).”
For Raymond, it was a much-needed boost. One of the top rookies in the league last season, Raymond has not been as productive this season. He has recorded just one goal and five assists during regulation since Jan. 21. He also missed eight games during that stretch due to an injury.
Alex Chiasson scored his fourth goal in nine games since being elevated from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Filip Zadina scored just his third goal in 29 games this season. Zadina missed a chunk of the season due to a broken leg.
Hellberg recorded his first victory since Feb. 16.
“It’s been a tough stretch lately as you all know,” Hellberg said. “So winning a back-to-back game, we played (Monday) and they didn’t, it shows a lot of character from our team and that we can come up with a win.”
Defensemen scored both goals for St. Louis (31-33-6, 68 points). Robert Bortuzzo notched his second goal this season and Marco Scandella got his first.
Scandella missed 56 games after undergoing offseason hip surgery.
“It was kind of a broken play,” he said. “I just wanted to direct it towards the net. I got pretty fortunate on that one.”
Blues coach Craig Berube was disappointed by his team’s performance.
“The first period I thought we did a good job of controlling things, cycle game, things like that,” he said. “They played (Monday) night. The goal was to wear them down over time, but we didn’t do that in the second. Execution wasn’t good, just had no composure (Tuesday) with it, didn’t see it. Power play, didn’t see the plays on the power play (0-for-3). We weren’t seeing a lot.”
The Blues begin a stretch on Thursday in which they play five of six games on the road. Detroit has a road game in Philadelphia on Saturday before returning home next week.
–Field Level Media