Elliott came within less than 2 1/2 minutes of handing Detroit its first shutout in 69 games, Dmitrij Jaskin scored a key third-period goal, and the Blues beat the Red Wings 2-1 Wednesday night.
“We’re playing well, even if we’re giving up a lot of shots,” Elliott said. “When someone makes a big block, that makes a huge difference.”
“I thought we created enough chances to score than one goal, especially in the first 10 minutes, but we’ve got to put the puck in the net,” Zetterberg said. “We’re working hard, but we’re not getting the second puck often enough. That’s where you get goals in this league.”
The Red Wings have only scored 12 goals in their last seven games, but coach Jeff Blashill doesn’t think there’s a big problem.
“We don’t have to make vast changes to the way we play,” he said. “We got 30 shots against a really good team, and we played well. You have to take the emotion out of it – it is frustrating when you don’t score, but our processes are fine.”
Ty Rattie also scored for St. Louis, giving the Blues the lead on a fluky goal late in the first period. Alex Pietrangelo took a shot from the point that was headed wide of the net when it bounced off Rattie’s right leg and into the net.
“I knew he shot it, but I know where it was coming through,” Rattie said. “I’ll take them any way I can get them. I didn’t see it, but it went in off my shin pad.”
Seconds after the ensuing faceoff, the Red Wings appeared to have tied it. Pavel Datsyuk had Elliott out of position, but his shot slid across the goal line and bounced to safety off the far post. It was close enough that the scoreboard operator triggered the light show that follows Red Wings goals, but the Blues led 1-0 at period’s end.
Detroit had 20 shots through two periods, but struggled to force Elliott into tough saves. Mrazek stopped Vladimir Tarasenko twice early in the third to keep it 1-0, but Jaskin broke through the centre of the Detroit defence to make it a two-goal game with 7:47 left.
“I was just trying to get the puck settled down, but once I got over the blue line, I just drove to the net,” he said.
Jaskin’s last-second switch from his backhand to his forehand was enough to beat Mrazek.
“I was playing him to shoot backhand, but he crossed over and beat me,” said Mrazek, who made 18 saves. “I gave up more goals than we scored, so I didn’t do my job.”
NOTES: Red Wings C Tomas Tatar was a late scratch with the flu. He was replaced by Joakim Andersson in the lineup. … The Blues only dressed five defencemen after Colton Parayko was also scratched due to an illness. “We found out about 5:30, so we had to change our structure,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We’ve done it three times in the last couple weeks, so we know how to adjust.” … With Nicklas Kronwall out 2-4 weeks after knee surgery, Alexey Marchenko moved into the Detroit lineup and onto the penalty-killing unit, while Brendan Smith replaced Kronwall on power plays.