Blues 4 – Red Wings 3
After a timid first period by the Blues, who scored after 7.54 with a goal by Jay McClement (assist-Brad Winchester), the Blues went in 2-1 down. The Red Wings equalised with a goal by Jonathan Ericsson after Roman Polak had been “obstructed” by one of the refs. Following this, Colaiacovo coughed up the puck on the powerplay and the Red Wings scored a short handed goal to go in 2-1 up.
Andy Murray must have had words with the guys in the intermission because the second period was an entirely different story. Steen was called for a four minute penalty for high sticking and the Red Wings went further ahead with a powerplay goal scored by Ville Leino. This seemed to galvanise the Blues. They pulled a goal back on a powerplay – a superlative strike by Paul Kariya (assisted by Andy McDonald and Keith Tkachuk). He threaded the puck into a gap you could barely see. Minutes later, the Blues were level when BJ Crombeen (assisted by Jay McClement) bundled the puck past Osgood.
The Blues didn’t stop there. Paul Kariya (assisted by TJ Oshie) scored his second of the night with a blast of speed and neat little shot that Osgood had little chance on. End of P2 and Blues led 4-3.
There was no scoring in the third period but there was plenty of action. The Blues hit hard, keeping the puck along the boards and making it difficult for the Red Wings who tend to prefer the open ice play. Late in the game, the Red Wings pulled Osgood from the net and Brad Boyes barely missed an empty netter.
All in all, after a timid first period, the Blues came back strongly. Chris Mason was superb in goal, his glove hand getting plenty of work as he denied Datsyuk what seemed to be a sure fire short handed goal. The Blues fourth line of Steen, McClement and Crombeen fought hard and ran the Red Wings ragged. They never gave the Wings any time on the puck, they constantly hussled and harrassed them around the ice.
And Paul Kariya. What can you say about the guy? Back with “new” hips, lightning fast with great hands – he scored two superb goals and looks hungry for more. I’m just very, very glad I picked him for my fantasy hockey team.
Just a shout out to the Blues fans over in Sweden. They said Blues fans were outnumbered considerably by the Wings fans at the game. That didn’t stop them. The “Let’s Go Blues” chants rang out loudly. You guys were a credit to the Blues.
Bring on game 2.