Blues goaltender Brian Elliott turned aside all 28 shots faced to help St. Louis beat Detroit 1-0 on Sunday, and earn two critical points in the process.
Elliott entered this game with a 3.43 GAA and hadn’t silenced an opposing team since March 27, 2012. Chris Porter scored just his second goal of the season, although both of them have been game winners.
- This was the last regular season game that the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues will play as Central Division rivals. They won’t be in the same conference when the NHL realigns for the 2013-14 campaign.
- Elliott is one of the streakiest goaltenders in recent memory. He struggled earlier this year. With Jaroslav Halak sidelined, will Elliott stay hot down the stretch?
- Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester logged 21:33 minutes in this game. He’s played in 753 NHL games with three different teams, but has never appeared in the playoff contest. After being acquired by the St. Louis Blues, that might finally changed in 2013.
- The Detroit Red Wings got hurt late in the game by one of this season’s new rules. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall got assessed a two-minute minor at 17:52 of the third period for closing his hand on the puck. Consequently, Detroit spent most of the final two minutes playing five-on-five with the Blues despite the fact that they pulled goaltender Jimmy Howard.
- With this win, St. Louis has leapfrogged over Detroit to claim seventh place in the Western Conference
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”