Pavel Datsyuk scored his second game-winner in as many nights as the Red Wings survived a tense third period for a 5-3 win in St. Louis.
Detroit led 3-1 heading into the final frame, but St. Louis got goals from David Backes and Matt D’Agostini less than three minutes apart to tie the score. Then Datsyuk took over.
Datsyuk, who scored the winner in overtime last night against Edmonton, slipped around a St. Louis defender along the boards and skated into the slot, where he did the same to Blues defenseman Roman Polak and fired a wrist shot past Jaroslav Halak to regain the lead for the Red Wings.
Detroit got a little insurance 1:20 later when Niklas Kronwall found a streaking Justin Abdelkader along the boards with an outlet pass. Abdelkader did a similar move in the slot that Datsyuk did and drove a shot past Halak for a 5-3 edge.
Darren Helm, Ruslan Salei and Kronwall also added goals for the Red Wings, who pushed their division lead to nine points over second-place Chicago. Jimmy Howard stopped 26 shots one night after allowing a single goal to Edmonton.
Adam Cracknell got St. Louis on the board in the first period, taking a pass from Ryan Reaves and whipping a shot past Howard. Detroit didn’t take long to respond when Salei took advantage of a St. Louis turnover and fired in his second goal of the season from the right faceoff circle two and a half minutes later. Just 16 seconds after that, Helm knocked in a rebound to give Detroit a 2-1 lead.
Kronwall made it 3-1 on the power play with a little over a minute left in the second period, firing a shot that Blues forward Andy McDonald tipped into his own net.