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NHL Game Summary - St. Louis at Detroit

(Wednesday, March 24th)

Final Score: Detroit 4, St. Louis 2

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Valtteri Filppula scored the go-ahead goal with 6:49 to play in the third period, and the surging Detroit Red Wings delivered a potential crushing blow to St. Louis' playoff hopes with a 4-2 win at Joe Louis Arena.

Filppula added an empty-netter in the waning moments to seal Detroit's sixth win in its last seven games. The Red Wings are 9-2-1 since the Olympic break.

Henrik Zetterberg joined Todd Bertuzzi with a goal and an assist for the Red Wings, who hold a four-point lead over Calgary for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Detroit is also two points behind both Nashville and Colorado.

"Tonight was probably the toughest game for us in a while," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "We didn't have much energy, mentally or physically. I was impressed by how the guys found a way to win."

Jimmy Howard, a Calder Trophy candidate as the league's top rookie, made 30 saves to notch his 30th win of the season.

Paul Kariya and Jay McClement provided the offense for the Blues, who are 10 points behind Detroit with nine games remaining.

"I thought we were the better team tonight, but they play hard and do the little things that takes to win," said St. Louis forward David Backes.

Ty Conklin allowed three goals on 23 shots to take the loss.

After McClement snapped a shot over the glove of Howard, tying the game two minutes into the third, the Red Wings regained the lead on a fluky goal.

Detroit defenseman Brian Rafalski skated with the puck to center ice before flipping a shot on goal. Conklin mismanaged the puck and Filppula was able to deposit the rebound into an open cage.

St. Louis drew first blood when Kariya used his speed to split the defense and fired a wrister through Howard's pads at 5:39 of the first period.

The Red Wings tied the game 26 seconds into the middle stanza on a dazzling goal by Zetterberg. The talented Swede cut down the slot and, with one hand on his stick, propelled a backhander that slithered between the legs of Conklin and across the goal line.

Detroit led 2-1 after Zetterberg let go a shot from outside the crease which deflected off the right leg of Bertuzzi at 4:35 of the second period.

Game Notes

St. Louis was 0-for-3 with the man-advantage...Detroit has killed 28 consecutive opponent power plays...Rafalski collected two assists...The Blues finished 4-1-1 against Detroit this season.

03/25 00:34:15 ET

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