Red Wings host slumping Blues; 4th meeting this season
The Detroit Red Wings have certainly played a significant role in the St. Louis Blues' losing skid. Detroit will look to defeat the Blues for the third time and extend their winless streak to six games when the Central Division rivals meet at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday.
After absorbing a brutal 6-0 loss to St. Louis in the season opener, the Red Wings exacted revenge with a 5-3 home win on Feb. 1 and a 5-1 triumph at Scottrade Center on Thursday.
Detroit is riding high on a three-game winning streak - highlighted by defenseman Jonathan Ericsson's go-ahead goal with 4.5 seconds remaining in a 3-2 victory over Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon. The Blues are signing a different tune after capping an 0-3-1 homestand with a 4-1 setback to the Kings on Monday. Alexander Steen scored for the second straight contest for St. Louis, which opens a three-game road trip.
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ABOUT THE BLUES (6-5-1): Monday's tilt didn't start on the right note for St. Louis as Jaroslav Halak aggravated his groin during pregame warmups. Halak, who was activated from injured reserve on Sunday, watched as Brian Elliott struggled in another start.
"This was the homestand from hell," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We lost our goalie, we didn't play as well and now we've got to take this onto the road and we've got to be much more accountable for each other."
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (7-4-1): While St. Louis struggled with its homestand, coach Mike Babcock has won the first two contests of its four-game stint in Detroit. Captain Henrik Zetterberg, who has recorded six assists in his last four games, has three goals and as many helpers against St. Louis this season. The Swede matched a career high with five points against the Blues on Feb. 1.
St. Louis D Kevin Shattenkirk has collected one goal and three assists versus Detroit this season while Steen has recorded four points - all helpers.
Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk didn't let a crushing hit from Los Angeles D Drew Doughty prevent him from scoring his second goal in as many games on Sunday.
Blues captain David Backes leads the club with 35 hits - including a welcome-to-the-NHL moment for rookie Damien Brunner in the season opener.