The Detroit Red Wings needed a shot in the arm to get out of their recent funk and Tyler Bertuzzi was the man to provide the needed punch.
Bertuzzi scored twice in the game, including a goal with 6:53 remaining in the third period to make sure all the good work the Red Wings did in the second period of the game didn’t end up getting flushed away in vain while simultaneously ensuring an end to a four-game losing streak in a 4-3 defeat of the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday Night Hockey on NBCSN.
Indeed, Bertuzzi’s first of game capped off a stretch of three unanswered tallies in the first 11:04 of the second frame, with goals from Thomas Vanek and Andreas Athanasiou (a very pretty goal) preceding it.
That probably should have been enough to allow the Red Wings to snap their skid against a Blues team that has struggled even after firing Mike Yeo a couple weeks back. But as the clock ticked off the final seconds in the period, the Blues had already clawed two back through David Perron and Vladimir Tarasenko.
It’s the kind of thing that happens when a couple of undisciplined penalties come back to bite you. Both Blues’ goals came on the power play, which tells you all you need to know.
Buoyed by the momentum gained to finish the second, St. Louis emerged from the intermission and tied the game up 3-3 eight minutes in through Perron’s second.
Comeback complete and 12 minutes or so to find a winner while still riding momentum’s wave.
Alas, it wasn’t in the cards for Bluenotes.
Despite their best efforts to erase the three-goal deficit (and erase the memory of an embarrassing 8-4 loss to the Winnipeg Jets in their last game on Saturday), it wasn’t to be.
Instead, it was Bertuzzi who came up with the dagger, plunging it into the Blues with just under seven minutes left.
There would be no second comeback.
The Blues had plenty of time to let the five stages of (bad loss) grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance — run their course. Their comeback — the loss notwithstanding — was a good sign from a team who could have packed it in with half a game left to play.
Whether it helps St. Louis going forward is anyone’s guess.
Howard stopped 33-of-36 in the game to give his team a chance. Jake Allen opposite of him wasn’t as giving. He allowed four on 31 shots for unfavorable .871 save percentage.
Detroit comes away back in the saddle of their rollercoaster season. St. Louis, meanwhile, is sent back to the drawing board.