St. Louis Blues (45-20-6) at Detroit Red Wings (38-21-11)
|Date & Time||Sunday March 22, 2015, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Detroit Red Wings -130 / St. Louis Blues +118 --- Over/Under: 5
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The St. Louis Blues look to bounce back on Sunday afternoon when they travel to Detroit to take on the Red Wings. Things did not go well for the Blues on Saturday afternoon in Minnesota as Brian Elliot was chased early in the second period by the Wild after allowing four goals on just 16 shots. To be fair to Elliot there were several lucky bounces in play for Minnesota, but Elliot could not find a way to make a big save when his club needed one. After the goaltending switch the Blues started to rally, getting goals from Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz to cut the deficit in half with significant time remaining. If the Blues could have found a way to get another goal before the end of the intermission the complexion of this hockey game would have changed completely, but instead it was Minnesota scoring late to take a three goal lead with them into the third period. Paul Stastny added a power play goal in the final frame but the Blues fell by a final of 6-3. It’s going to be interesting to see how Ken Hitchcock elects to deal with his goaltenders moving forward and into the post season. Elliot has had a very good year statistically, but watching him play it’s hard to picture him leading this hockey team to a Stanley Cup. Jake Allen is just a kid, but his potential is through the roof and it might take someone like him getting hot to really allow this club to make a lengthy post season run. Currently, the Blues find themselves in a position where they could be facing the Wild in the opening round of the playoffs. Minnesota now leads the season series 2-0-1 overall.
The Detroit Red Wings currently find themselves looking at a first round match up with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and if the season series is any indication that might not be a good thing for them. Detroit has now lost all three meetings with the Lightning this season after Friday night’s 3-1 loss in Tampa Bay. Tomas Tatar scored his 26th goal of the season in the second period to tie the game at 1-1, but Alex Killorn broke that tie in the third period for the Lightning. Jimmy Howard played well in this one, stopping 29 shots overall, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Detroit’s inability to score. A lot of times in the playoffs it all comes down to match ups. The Red Wings have a great chance against any team but for whatever reason their puck possession and finesse type of style doesn’t seem to be effective on a Lightning club that likes to play that way as well. Howard is not going to be able to out duel Ben Bishop on most night, so the Red Wings are really going to have to be at their best to take a series like this. Sunday afternoon they get to revive an old Central Division rivalry with the St. Louis Blues. The Wings still have a slim chance of catching Tampa Bay for home ice advantage, but right now they’ve just got to be hoping that the Lightning can leapfrog Montreal so they can avoid them early on.
This game on Saturday was an ugly one for the Blues. It started off poorly and snowballed quickly before they were able to stop the bleeding. Detroit played well enough on Friday night but couldn’t find a way. The Red Wings have a chance to rebound but the Blues are going to be champing at the bit to get the taste of that poor game out of their mouths.