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Blue Crush: Red Wings Blitzed by Blues in Season Opener

January 20th, 2013 at 4:00 PM
By Frank Vajcner

If Saturday night was what the Detroit Red Wings will look like this season, then the team is in serious trouble.

Chris Stewart and rookie Vladimir Tarasenko each scored two goals as the St. Louis Blues shut out the Detroit Red Wings 6-0. It was the first time that the Red Wings had been shut out in a season opener in 55 years.

“They were quicker, more competitive on the puck. We gave them goals," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "They got in behind us shorthanded; they got in behind us on the penalty kill. They walked by us. I can think of four goals that were just gifts, not even earned. You got to give them credit, they were all over us, and we didn't generate anything.”

Tarasenko scored the first of his two goals at 6:36 in the first after Red Wings' defenseman Kyle Quincey misplayed a puck near the boards. Tarasenko used some impressive stickhandling to corral the puck and snap a shot past Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard.

Stewart made it 2-0 with his first of the night at 14:44 on a power play. Despite that, the Blues out-shot the Red Wings 17-2 in the first period alone.

“That's not a good way to start off the year,” Howard  said, who was pulled early in the third period. “They're a good team. They're big, they're fast and they're physical. And they kept it simple. They kept the pucks in front of them, they skated really hard and got it in on the forecheck and made it tough on us.”

Tarasenko made it 3-0 29 seconds into the second period on a power play goal. The Blues then made it 4-0 at 16:09 with a shorthanded goal from TJ Oshie, who got behind the Red Wings power play unit to beat Howard.

Howard was replaced by Jonas Gustavsson after giving up another power play goal to Stewart at 1:15 of the third. He finished with 23 saves on 28 shots.

The Blues finished with a 36-14 advantage in shots, and held Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to zero shots on goal.

“Obviously, it was not the start we wanted,” Zetterberg said. “They were better than us in every field. Starting from faceoffs to five-on-five, PK, power play, so it wasn't a good game.”

Red Wings rookie Damien Brunner recorded three shots on goal in his NHL debut.

The Red Wings will play their next game in Columbus, Ohio against the Blue Jackets Monday night at 7:30 p.m.

NOTES: Red Wings forward Johan Franzen and Blues forward Ryan Reaves were both ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct at 16:25 of the third period…Red Wings forward Jan Mursak left the game after getting hit by the Blues' David Backes in the second period.

THREE STARS:

  1. STL Vladimir Tarasenko    (2 goals)
  2. STL Chris Stewart.              (2 PP goals)
  3. STL Jaroslav Halak             (W, 14 saves, 1.000 save percentage)
Tags: Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, NHL

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