(Sports Network) - Detroit seemed headed for a fifth straight loss on Friday before getting some late-game heroics. The Red Wings will hope for an easier time tonight as they visit the St. Louis Blues and Scottrade Center.
The Red Wings carried an 0-2-2 slide, their longest of the season, into last night's home game versus the Oilers and didn't get on the scoreboard until Nicklas Lidstrom tallied with 24.8 seconds left in regulation on a shot that deflected off an Edmonton stick.
That goal forced overtime and Pavel Datsyuk scored with 43 ticks remaining in the extra frame for a 2-1 triumph.
"It was a big win for us to come back the way we did," said Datsyuk. "Still, it was kind of frustrating out there, we had a bunch of chances and weren't able to put them away."
Jimmy Howard yielded a first-period goal, but made 26 saves in all for the Red Wings, who lead the Blackhawks by seven points for first place in the Central Division and the Sharks by three points for the Western Conference's second seed.
The Red Wings will try to snap a three-game road slide tonight and deny the Blues a fourth straight victory, which would be St. Louis' longest win streak since winning five straight from Dec. 21-31. The Blues' current run also comes on the heels of a 1-7 stretch.
St. Louis and goaltender Jaroslav Halak won a much-hyped meeting with Montreal on Thursday, with Halak making 27 saves in the 4-1 triumph. The Blues goaltender was facing his former team for the first time since getting traded this past offseason after helping to lead the Canadiens to the Eastern Conference finals.
"When you get traded, you want to beat them every time you play," Halak said of matching up with his former team. "We play Montreal only once this year so this was my only chance. I had to make sure I gave it my best."
Andy McDonald had a goal and two assists, Matt D'Agostini scored versus his old team and David Backesalso lit the lamp for the Blues, who are 10 points back of a playoff spot with 14 games to play.
St. Louis took to the ice after announcing that both forward Alex Steen and defenseman Barret Jackman would miss 4-to-6 weeks due to injury. Steen has a high right ankle sprain, while Jackman suffered a right finger injury that required surgery.
The Red Wings have won four of their past five versus the Blues, including three of four this season. They claimed a 4-3 overtime win in the last meeting on Jan. 20 when Darren Helm scored 1:51 into the deciding frame. St. Louis had rallied from a 3-0 deficit to earn a point.
Detroit also picked up its seventh victory in its last nine trips to St. Louis.
Halak is 1-2-1 with a 4.49 goals-against average in his career versus the Red Wings, while Howard is 5-2-1 with a 2.70 GAA versus the Blues.