Red Wings defeat slumping Blues 4-1

Wednesday, December 24, 2008
JERRY S. MENDOZA ~ Associated Press
Red Wings goalie Ty Conklin deflects a shot during the first period Tuesday in Detroit.

DETROIT — Manny Legace remembers Pavel Datsyuk as a rookie who was hesitant to take shots.

He found out the hard way that it’s no longer the case.

Datsyuk had two goals and an assist against Legace and Ty Conklin made 33 saves, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

Datsyuk was a rookie when the Red Wings won the 2002 Stanley Cup. Legace was the team’s backup goalie.

"It was hard to get him to shoot the puck, but now he’s got confidence," Legace said.

Datsyuk agreed.

"I always talk about I need more shoot. Now maybe I’m start a little bit more shoot," he said. "And Homer [Holmstrom]always do [screen the goalie] for me. Now I think I feel more confidence."

Nicklas Lidstrom had a goal and an assist and Tomas Holmstrom also scored for Detroit, which won for the eighth time in 10 games.

Patrik Berglund scored for St. Louis, which has lost seven of its last eight, and Legace stopped 37 shots.

Detroit led 2-0 after the first period.

Datsyuk opened the scoring 5:03 into the game with a power-play goal. He beat Legace with a wrist shot from the top inside edge of the left circle with Holmstrom in front of Legace.

Datsyuk has five goals and 10 points in his last four games.

Lidstrom then capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play for his fifth goal, when he connected on a slap shot from the high slot with 9:39 left in the opening period.

The Blues had a 1:18 two-man advantage late in the first period but couldn’t beat Conklin, despite several scoring opportunities.

The Red Wings scored twice more in the middle period.

Holmstrom got his 10th goal when he tipped in a shot by Brad Stuart 6:59 into the second period. Datsyuk scored his second goal of the game, which came short-handed, with 4:34 left in the second.

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