|St. Louis Blues' Patrik Berglund, of Sweden, is congratulated by teammate Kris Russell, right, after scoring during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011, in St. Louis. The Blues won 3-2. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)|
Backes, Steen score, Blues beat Red Wings 3-2
ST. LOUIS—David Backes got the go-ahead score on the second straight power-play goal of the game for the St. Louis Blues, who ended a 2 for 39 slump with the man advantage in a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.
Alex Steen had a power play goal in the second period and Brian Elliott made 27 saves for the Blues, who are 9-2-3 since Ken Hitchcock replaced Davis Payne as coach. The Blues also beat the Red Wings in Hitchcock's first game on Nov. 15.
St. Louis entered Tuesday as the NHL's worst with the man advantage -- having scored eight goals in 87 chances.
Detroit's Jonathan Franzen scored for the third straight game and Jiri Hudler made it a one-goal game with 1:20 to go.
Backes' team-leading 10th goal came on a one-timer from T.J. Oshie in the opening minute of the third period, capitalizing on a delay of game call on Niklas Kronwall for clearing the puck into the stands. Berglund's sixth of the year beat Howard to the short side on a rush for a 3-1 lead.
Franzen poked the puck between Elliott's pads at 7:42 of the second for his team-leading 13th goal and the early lead, with Howard earning his first assist on the play.
Steen tied it with his ninth off Jason Arnott's faceoff win only four seconds into a tripping call on Jakub Kindl to end a power play drought that began after Chris Stewart connected on St. Louis' first chance under Hitchcock -- also against the Red Wings at home.
Elliott used his glove to keep it tied, making a diving stop on Daniel Cleary's rebound shot with three minutes to go in the second. Elliott is 11-2 and has allowed two or fewer goals in all but one of his last 13 starts.
Notes: Hudler also had an assist. ... Payne, fired after a 6-7 start and now a scout for the franchise, was in the press box for the first time. ... Red Wings C Valtteri Filppula, third on the team with 21 points, was scratched two days after suffering a cut above one of his skates. ... Howard limited the opposition to one goal three times during his winning streak.