Perhaps not-so-bafflingly given the Red Wings’ struggles vs. Nashville on Tuesday, the Red Wings laid an egg on Thursday, losing 6-2 to Nathan Walker (who scored a hat trick) and a 17-skater Blues team. Robby Fabbri scored both of Detroit’s goals, and Alex Nedeljkovic was pulled after 2 periods and 3 goals against on 18 St. Louis shots faced.
The Red Wings actually out-shot St. Louis 31-26 and out-attempted the Blues 61-48, but Danny DeKeyser and Dan Renouf were -3 on a team that finished -21 overall, which means that the Wings gave up the vast majority of their goals against at even strength.
The Wings are horrible on the road, technically speaking, and they’ll have to re-set in a big way ahead of tomorrow night’s game vs. a very good Avalanche team.
The teams dressed the following lineups…
#stlblues projected lineup vs. Detroit:
Lindgren— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) December 10, 2021
The starters and scratches were as follows…
In the 1st period…
Dylan Larkin and company set up for the opening faceoff opposite a 17-man-strong Blues roster, with Jordan Kyrou taking the initial faceoff for St. Louis.
Kyrou and company tied up the faceoff, and Oesterle turned over the scrum draw to the Blues, who cycled deep and jabbed the puck into the back boards behind the net, where Oesterle set up Fabbri, he skated into the Blues’ zone, and St. Louis recovered the puck and changed lines 40 seconds into the 1st period.
Torey Krug chipped the puck in deep for the Blues’ second line, and Leddy and Hronek exchanged the puck to feed Suter and Veleno at center. Veleno was unable to send the puck into Lindgren, so the Blues took over, but St. Louis turned the puck over as they chipped the puck deep, and Detroit changed as it cleared the zone.
Some 1:50 into the 1st, Zadina fed Rasmussen for a shot that went wide of the net; Oesterle held the puck in deep but Perunovich took over and the Blues chipped the puck off the side boards for Buchnevich, but he was steered off by Seider, and Gagner and Rowney worked the puck deep, Lindgren played the puck himself, Kyruou skated in and he was blocked by Seider.
Gagner skated up ice with Smith, Hronek and company, and Detroit got in trouble, with Kyrou breaking in alone, but Nedeljkovic was able to block the Blues player’s shot and bat away the rebound.
3:21 into the 1st period, the Blues chipped the puck out of play, but it was ruled that the puck deflected out of play, so the teams continued to play 5 on 5, with Raymond and Larkin dekeing and dangling, but Parayko made a fine sliding stop on Raymond’s shot in the slot.
As play continued, the Wings got the first shot in on Lindgren at 4:12 of the 1st period, with Renouf taking a point shot that was easily fared by the Blues goaltender.
Detroit won the subsequent deep offensive zone draw and mucked and ground the puck to Veleno, who sent a shot in on Lindgren’s blocker side, and Lindgren made the stop;
St. Louis took over and cycled deep in the Wings’ zone, and Perunovich sent a shot just wide of Nedeljkovic, and Nedeljkovic made a big stop on the rebound attempt by Barbashev.
Ned got some help as the Wings blocked a Ryan O’Reilly shot on goal, and the Wings raced up the other way, with Erne sending a similarly blocked shot on Charlie Lindgren…
St. Louis exhibited very good structure and poise for the most part, but Robby Fabbri almost jabbed in a sneaky little giveaway by Parayko in the slot, only to be stifled by Lindgren…
At the first TV timeout at 4:04, Detroit was out-shooting St. Louis 4-2; attempts were 8-4; hits 3-0 St. Louis; giveaways 2-0 St. Louis; takeaways 2-0 St. Louis; blocked shots 3-2 St. Louis; faceoffs 6-0 Detroit.
Robby Fabbri was honored by the Blues at the first TV timeout.
When play resumed, the Wings’ fourth line of Sam Gagner, Carter Rowney and Givani Smith took to the ice, and surrendered the game’s first goal.
Sadly, Nathan Walker took a stretch pass, chipped it into the offensive zone, afforded Schenn a button-hook play, and Walker chipped the puck off Danny DeKeyser’s stick and into the net to make it 1-0 St. Louis.
Welcome back, mate! Nathan Walker gives the #stlblues an early lead in his first NHL game of the season!
Stream: https://t.co/00WT27hyNq pic.twitter.com/M0c1n9pEuT— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) December 10, 2021
Nathan Walker made it 1-0 from Schenn and Joshua at 6:17 of the 1st period.
Detroit attempted to respond on several plays by the third line of Zadina, Rasmussen and Erne, but they had some difficulties, only generating one shot on goal;
Leddy got a long shot in on goal as well, but the Wings looked scattershot and sort of out of sorts with themselves.
Larkin, Raymond and Fabbri found themselves tied up by the Blues’ checking, and Oesterle and Seider attempted to afford the Wings a regroup at center ice, but they could not penetrate the Wings’ hard center-ice checking;
St. Louis set up in the Wings’ zone, and Krug fired a shot off Smith and wide at 9:35;
Schenn was something of a force on the ice, especially against the Wings’ fourth line, and they got backed in, finding themselves desperate to chip and change as the 10-minute mark passed;
Suter, Veleno and Namestnikov took over, Veleno stuffed the puck toward the front of the net for Suter, and he was met with both a stop from Lindgren and some pushing and shoving from Niko Mikkola.
So St. Louis’ typical scraps and scrapes with the Wings for no good reason were still in effect.
When play resumed after a TV timeout just short of 11 minutes into the 1st period, Detroit did settle down a little bit, but the Blues continued to get away with quite a bit of interference, and while the Wings were leading in shots 9-3 some 11:30 into the 1st, the Blues felt in control of the game.
Disappointingly, Nick Leddy was called for “holding” with 12:04 gone in the 1st, so the Wings went to the PK:
On the penalty-kill, St. Louis set up after winning the offensive zone draw, Krug and Buchnevich cycled to O’Reilly, he was stifled by Seider, Schenn and Krug exchanged the puck and then positions, Buchenvich put the puck off the side of the goal, and DeKeyser cleared the zone.
Detroit changed with 1 minute gone in the PK, and St. Louis charged back in, cycled deep, and Nedeljkovic made a good stop, Rasmussen made a good block, and Namestnikov carried the puck out of trouble and into the Blues’ zone.
Nedeljkovic killed about 10 seconds off the clock before St. Louis rushed back into the Wings ‘zone, surrendered the puck to Suter and Gagner, and St. Louis set up in their own zone with 10 seconds remaining in the PP.
Nedeljkovic turned the puck over, St. Louis cycled, and the Wings sent the puck out to Leddy coming out of the penalty box, he was defended quite well, but he set up Seider for a slapper that was blocked.
Ultimately, Detroit was called for a second consecutive penalty as Dylan Larkin got called for holding at 14:35.
On the penalty-kill, Detroit lost the initial draw and Nedeljkovic made 2 sharp stops off the lost faceoff as St. Louis closed the shot deficit to 9-5 at 14:30 of the 1st.
Suter, Gagner, Seider and DeKeyser took the next draw, lost it, and St. Louis cycled, Seider blocked a centering pass, St. Louis regained the puck and cycled, and Krug fired a heavy shot wide of the net.
With under 5 minutes remaining, the Blues skated to center, sent the puck in deep behind the net, and charged after it 3 on 2, cycling and losing the war to Rasmussen, who cleared the puck down ice with 53 seconds left in the PK.
St. Louis then lost the puck at center ice thanks to a smart kick play by Suter, and when the Blues entered the zone…
St. Louis continued to cycle at the Wings’ expense.
Hronek, Oesterle, Gagner and Suter were able to watch Nedeljkovic make a strong stop and a second one before Sundqvist shoved Nedeljkovic, and the Wings assembled like Avengers to take care of the hacks and whacks.
Sadly, the Blues’ cross-iced the puck from O’Reilly to Mikkola, and across to Walker, and Walker got a screened shot in on Nedeljkovic which beat the Red Wings’ goaltender with 3:13 remaining in the 1st period.
This guy does NOT want to go back to the AHL. We’re less than 17 minutes into tonight’s game and Nathan Walker already has two goals.
Stream: https://t.co/00WT27hyNq#stlblues pic.twitter.com/XgdyUQSWkw— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) December 10, 2021
Nathan Walker scored the 2-0 goal from Mikkola and O’Reilly at 16:47.
Detroit looked really lost in terms of their puck management through the middle of the ice, and that was a problem.
The shots were also even 9-9 at 18:35.
Parayko ripped a heavy shot wide of the net with 1:35 left in the 1st, Detroit dumped, changed, and the Blues centered the puck to O’Reilly, who chipped the puck over the Wings’ net.
St. Louis’ Kyrou left the ice for a little bit of time, but he returned for the final moments of the 1st period.
The final thirty seconds involved Seider and DeKeyser doing a poor job of defending, Detroit running around chasing after the Blues’ players, and Mikkola stifling Nedeljkovic at a point-blank range.
Shots in the 1st were 10-9 STL; attempts 19-17 STL; hits 7-4 STL; giveaways 3-2 STL; takeaways 2-1 STL; blocked shots 7-5 DET; faceoffs 10-5 DET (67%).
In the 2nd period…
The 2nd period began at 9 PM EST on the dot, with Larkin’s line on the ice opposite O’Reilly, who tied up the faceoff.
DeKeyser chipped the puck in deep, St. Louis took over and O’Reilly nearly split the Red Wings’ defense, ultimately firing a shot wide of Nedeljkovic.
The Blues regrouped at center, but Detroit took the puck and chipped and chased, Seider held the puck in for Larkin deep around the right side of the net, Hronek took over, Seider sent a shot through that was tipped through traffic, and Leddy fired a pass to Hronek who shot off Lindgren;
Detroit cycled deep as they changed lines, with Hronek firing a deep, obtuse-angle shot wide of the net;
1:25 into the 2nd, Suter, Namestnikov and Veleno were checked off the puck, regained possession, and cycled, but St. Louis took over at center, surrendered possession again, and Suter was checked by 2 Blues and had to send a pass to Oesterle, whose point shot was blocked.
2:15 into the 2nd, Detroit changed lines off a chip-and-change, and Scandella played the puck out and down the ice. Nedeljkovic fed Renouf for a pass to Rasmusssen that went wide and was iced at 2:35.
Rasmussen dialed in for a faceoff vs. Barbashev and the puck was given up to said Barbashev, but the Wings covered up for their defensive mistakes, and the Wings charged up the ice…
And Rasmussen and Zadina poked the puck in on Lindgren, who made a blocker-side stop-and-grab.
3 minutes into the 2nd, Seider took a won faceoff and chipped it deep, regained the puck and passed it laterally to Oesterle, the Wings cycled deep for Smith, Rowney battled down low, and Scandella cleared the puck to the line, but Seider held it in for a moment, and Rowney and Smith were unable to convert on Seider’s keep-in.
The Wings had changed all 4 lines as Joshua blasted a shot over Nedeljkovic and wide of the net, Kyrou sent another shot wide, and Raymond took over at center ice, was blocked, Seider fed Larkin, the Wings chipped the puck deep and RAYMOND FED FABBRI FOR A 2-1 MARKER.
Raymond made a fantastic drop pass to Robby Fabbri, who chipped the puck over Charlie Lindgren who was down early in the butterfly.
Robby Fabbri scores (again) against his former team, this time in his return to St. Louis! The @DetroitRedWings are on the board! #LGRW pic.twitter.com/xnnomZoqqr— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) December 10, 2021
Larkin and Raymond assisted on Robby Fabbri’s 2-1 marker at 4:17 of the 2nd.
On the post-goal shift, Leddy, Suter and Veleno nearly converted for a bouncing puck chance that Lindgren and the Blues’ defense stifled despite a LOT of chaos caused around the Blues’ net.
Raymond, Larkin and Fabbri came right back out onto the ice for a quick second shift, too, and Larkin ripped a shot off the GOALPOST from the Blues’ slot.
Detroit then checked the snot out of the Blues’ Buchnevich line and went off for a change;
When St. Louis got into the Wings’ zone, Nedeljkovic made a difficult stop on Miko Mikkola look easy, and we headed to the first TV timeout of the period at 6:12.
Shots in the 2nd were 5-1 Detroit at the first TV timeout.
When play resumed, Tarasenko, Buchnevich and Barbashev cycled deep, DeKeyser and Seider were backed in deep, and Nedeljkovic made a MASSIVE stop on Tarasenko;
Rasmussen’s line was just standing around and watching for the most part, and Seider got chased out of his own zone;
Zadina got a good chance on Lindgren at the other end, but it was blockered away by the right-catching netminder;
Lindgren blockered away another smart stop off Veleno as he, Rowney and Suter worked together;
Veleno fed a puck in for Larkin that was unable to be touched because Larkin tapped the puck down with a high stick just short of 9 minutes into the 2nd period;
The Red Wings neared the halfway mark of the period with Larkin hit and held by Schenn, sans call, but Larkin and Fabbri and Raymond cycled the puck anyway, Raymond kicked the puck deep and Detroit changed at 9:50 of the 2nd.
Rasmussen, Gagner and Namestnikov then worked with each other, and Renouf fed Gagner for a good pass that was blocked, St. Louis changed and rushed onto the ice 3 on 2, but Namestnikov made a good shot block;
The Blues rushed up 3 on 2 and Walker chipped the puck wide, Scandella’s point shot was stopped by Nedeljkovic, and Scandella was stifled again as the Blues activated their defense with 8:22 remaining.
As the period progressed, both teams were checking heavily and battling hard for every inch of the ice, so it was hard for either team to gain momentum or really control the flow of play;
Fabbri, Larkin and Veleno worked tougether to feed Seider for a partially fanned shot, Seider put the puck off the boards to himself, then Fabbri, and Sundqvist was tripped…
So Robby Fabbri headed to the penalty-kill for the third straight time at 13:04 as Fabbri went for tripping.
On the penalty-kill, Detroit lined up with Gagner and Suter, and while the Wings lost the draw, the Blues went back to center ice before cycling into the Wings’ zone, where Schenn laid on the puck.
The Wings won the scrum and Suter cleared the puck, and changed personnel;
St. Louis charged in with Tarasenko and O’Reilly working the puck to Schenn, to the point for Krug, to Tarasenko for a shot that went high, and Kyrou fed Krug, back to O’Reilly down low it went, Tarasenko fed O’Reilly, he was blocked off, the Blues cycled again, and Tarasenko fired a shot high and wide of the net.
Namestnikov worked with Seider to fire a shot high and wide, but Rasmussen chased down the rebound and dumped Krug, much to the disdain of the Blues’ crowd, and the penalty was killed.
Fabbri, Suter and Gagner worked together for a shift, and Renouf, Leddy and company watched the Blues deke and dangle as Barbishev cycled, Parayko fired another shot that was tipped wide, Mikkola fired another shot into the crease and Parayko chipped it behind Nedeljkovic to make it 3-1.
Colton Parayko made it 3-1 at 16:01 from Mikkola and Joshua.
The Red Wings did do their best to attempt to rally, but the Blues did a heavy job of checking the Wings off the puck as much as they were legally able to do, and Detroit seemed to struggle generating speed through the middle of the ice, and St. Louis’ “Russian line” nearly scored before their 3-on-2 was broken up by Larkin.
Larkin, Raymond and Fabbri were double-shifted as the 2nd period began to wind down, and they were at least generating some zone time in the Blues’ end;
Erne, Namestnikov and Suter then took to the ice, and cycled, Oesterle held the blueline for a moment, regrouped at center, and Detroit dumped and chased;
St. Louis cleared the zone, however, and with 45 left in the period, Nedeljkovic had to play the puck to his defense, Detroit chipped and changed, 30 seconds remained, and St. Louis took over for the balance of the period, with Buchnevich nearly setting up a chance in front in which Dakota Joshua was blocked and the Wings cleared the zone.
Stats after 2: Shots 18-18; attempts 37-32 STL; hits 11-10 DET; giveaways 8-5 STL; takeaways 5-2 STL; blocked shots 9-7 DET; faceoffs 17-7 DET (71%).
In the 3rd period…
Larkin’s line took to the ice to kick off the third period opposite Kyrou and company, with O’Reilly dialing in for the opening faceoff opposite Larkin.
The Blues tied up the draw, and Thomas Greiss watched the Wings skate out to center ice and chip the puck to no one;
So O’Reilly skated in and fired a shot wide of Greiss;
The Blues cycled deep and worked the puck to the point, where Torey Krug fired a long shot in on Greiss, who held on 59 seconds into the 3rd period.
The Suter line then took to the ice, lost a faceoff, and watched the Blues push the puck back to center and skate in deep, force Greiss to make another stop, and cycle again as the Wings were a little turnover-happy in their own zone.
Namestnikov skated out of trouble, dropped the puck to Rasmussen, and he was stopped by Lindgren once, twice, and then blocked wide a third time;
Michael Rasmussen drew a penalty on Vladimir Tarasenko at 2:01 of the 2nd period.
On the power play, Seider, Larkin, Fabbri, Suter and Raymond cycled as they won the faceoff, and O’Reilly knocked the puck away from Dylan Larkin after losing a stick and regaining a twig from the bench;
Detroit got too cute, so O’Reilly got away with having no stick for 20 seconds.
Larkin then raced into the offensive zone and ripped a heavy shot on net, and he was stopped, so the Wings changed PP units 57 seconds in;
Greiss had to stop the Blues’ dump-down, and Leddy fed Hronek, he chipped and chased, but Bortuzzo got the puck, gave it away to Leddy, once and then twice Leddy stopped the puck, but the third time the Blues cleared the zone;
Namestnikov carried the puck up and around the Blues’ back boards, Zadina fed Leddy, to Erne, drop to Leddy, he was held up by Saad and Hronek faked a shot, fed it to Erne and the Blues raced up 3 on 2 as they killed the penalty.
5 minutes into the 3rd period, Detroit looked a little too casual in terms of their execution, and while Jordan Oesterle did send a nice shot in on Lindgren from the point, the Wings were unable to set up;
A bad drop pass from Rowney yielded a Blues cycle in the Wings’ zone some 6 minutes into the 3rd;
Renouf did do a nice job of skating in deep to send a shot off Lindgren and generate a scoring chance in which Gagner wrapped a backhander off Lindgren skating out from behind the net;
7:03 had already passed in the 3rd period, and Detroit was out-shooting St. Louis 6-3 in the period and 24-21 on the night; attempts were 42-41 Detroit; hits 14-10 Detroit; giveaways 9-5 St. Louis; takeaways 6-3 St. Louis; blocked shots 11-9 St. Louis; faceoffs 20-9 Detroit.
When play resumed, Zadina pushed the puck deep with Erne and Rasmussen, the line cycled deep, peeled off and fed Seider, who was blocked off by Barbashev;
Buchnevich then fumbled the puck and Larkin raced away, fired a shot on Lindgren, and awaited his linemates taking to the ice as Trasenko and Barbashev fed Kyrou for a shot that Greiss had to stop.
With 11:35 remaining, the Blues cycled deep in the Wings’ zone, Leddy and Hronek took over, and fed Raymond, who chipped for Fabbri, who chased, and Larkin fed the puck to the slot, and Leddy took the puck and fed Raymond for a one-timer that went wide of the net;
Detroit changed personnel, and surrendered a 3 on 2 and ultimately a 5-on-5 set of chances where the Blues made it 4-1 in a hurry.
Walker tipped a shot in the slot and sent it past Thomas Greiss to make it 4-1.
Come up to the NHL under emergency conditions and get a hat trick, NBD. Pretty amazing night for Nathan Walker.
Stream: https://t.co/00WT27hyNq#stlblues pic.twitter.com/OTMBI6mDV8— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) December 10, 2021
Krug’s shot was tipped by Walker past Greiss to make it 4-1. Scandella had the other assist at 9:27.
The Red Wings needed to at least generate some sort of momentum and they tried to do just that on the post-goal shift, with Smith sending a shot in on Lindgren from Veleno in fine fashion…It was just too little, too late.
Regrettably, the Blues poured things on in the 3rd period as Ivan Barbashev slid a Torey Krug pass off Rasmussen and then off Thomas Griess to make it 5-1.
Barbashev made it 5-1 at 10:11 from Torey Krug and Pavel Buchnevich.
The Red Wings couldn’t do much of anything right as the clock seemed to slow down, and Greiss was gobbling up as many Blues shots as he could, but he wasn’t getting any help.
The Red Wings were actually out-shooting St. Louis 29-25 at 13:30 of the 3rd period, but the Wings looked lost out there.
Understandably so, given the score.
And the way the night had gone.
Fabbri, Raymond and Larkin did get a shift and did struggle, as did Hronek and Leddy, and St. Louis’ Walker nearly scored a 4th goal in the slot, but he fired the puck wide of Greiss;
Kudos should be given to Lucas Raymond, however, for stretch passing Robby Fabbri on a long, long, long breakaway in behind the Blues’ defense. Fabbri made no mistake and made it 5-2 with 4:33 remaining in the game.
Fabbri scored from Raymond and Hronek at 15:27. The score was 5-2.
Coach Blashill also pulled Thomas Greiss with 3:45 remaining in the game…
Detroit went with Larkin, Fabbri and Raymond with Hronek, Leddy and Suter, and the Wings could not hold the offensive zone blueline, re-set, chipped and chased, and Suter fed the point, Seider came out and fired it to Raymond, to Hronek it went, to Seider and Hronek, Fabbri tried to slot pass to Larkin, but could not, and the Blues chipped the puck down ice away from Seider.
With 2:45 remaining, the Wings tried to chip and chase, but the Blues chipped the puck right out of play on a deflection, and Greiss had to come back in with 2:44 remaining and a faceoff at the Blues’ blueline;
Detroit lost the draw, and Greiss played the puck to Zadina, he chipped and chased, the Wings pulled Greiss…
Namestnikov and Rasmussen blocked a Tarasenko goal, and then another attempt by Barbashev;
Erne, Veleno, Namestnikov and Rasmussen cycled deep, worked the puck to Leddy, to Zadina at the other point, and Rasmussen regained control, cycled, Namestnikov fed Zadina, to Leddy it went, down low off Rasmussen, Veleno hacked, the Blues whacked, and St. Louis cleared the zone;
With 1:18 left, Zadina made a power move, sent it to the line, and the Blues blocked it off;
Larkin, Fabbri and Raymond cycled, Seider blocked a Blue but not the point, and Fabbri took a goal away from Tarasenko by tackling him sans call.
Larkin and Fabbri raced in, Hronek jabbed deep, Larkin fed Seider, to Fabbri and across to Larkin it went, but Lindgren made a big stop, Hronek held the puck in and the puck went off the goalpost and down the ice to the Wings’ net, where the Blues got their sixth goal.
Marco Scandella was credited with the 6-2 goal at 19:54.
That was the game.