St. Louis, MO, United States (4E Sports) – Justin Abdelkader scored twice while Riley Sheahan added another tally as the Detroit Red Wings blanked the St. Louis Blues, 3-0, Sunday at Scottrade Center.
The game served as a tune-up for the Red Wings (39-28-15) as they prepare for their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The loss, for their part, dropped the Blues (52-23-7) to a showdown with the Chicago Blackhawks.
A Blues win would have forced the Colorado Avalanche to defeat the Anaheim Ducks later Sunday night. However, St. Louis’ sixth straight loss gave the Avalanche the Central Division title and a matchup against the Minnesota Wild in the first round.
The Red Wings got 23 stops from Petr Mrazek in goal for his second career shutout. Detroit rested forwards Johan Franzen and Daniel Aldredsson, defensemen Niklas Kronwall and Danny DeKeyser, and goalie Jimmy Howard.
Goalie Ryan Miller stopped 18 shots but sustained his fifth straight defeat for the Blues, who set a franchise record for wins in a season.
The Blues played the game without eight injured regulars, including forwards David Backes, T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Tarasenko and Brenden Morrow, and defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Barret Jackman.
The losing streak was the longest for the Blues since they dropped seven in a row January 4-17, 2006 when they were 30th in the NHL that season, the first out of the 2004-05 lockout.
The Blues were blanked for the second straight game and seventh time in the final 25 games after not being shut out in the first 57 games. They ended the season without a goal in the last 143:59 and without an even-strength goal in the last 217:21.
The Red Wings got on the board first when Abdelkader redirected a Brian Lashoff shot over Miller at 13:30 of the first period.
The Red Wings thought they had scored moments earlier when Tomas Tatar’s one-timer beat Miller, but the goal was waved off when Joakim Andersson was whistled for goaltender interference at 9:48.
Sheahan gave the Red Wings a two-goal lead after Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo’s shot from the point went awry and turned into a 2-on-2 going the other way.
Sheahan used Colaiacovo as a screen and snapped a shot from the left circle over Miller’s glove with 3:41 left in the second.
Abdelkader’s second of the game came off a saucer feed from Pavel Datsyuk in the slot, and redirected the shot over Miller’s right shoulder with 7:17 remaining in the game. Datsyuk now had 74 points in 64 career games against St. Louis after his two assists Sunday.