for this game

Cleary triggers Detroit's third-period explosion in win over Blues

Nov 18, 2010 - 6:33 AM
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - The sizzling Dan Cleary scored two goals, including the go-ahead tally that incited a third-period explosion, as the Detroit Red Wings beat the St. Louis Blues, 7-3, at Joe Louis Arena.

Cleary extended his goal streak to six games. He has eight goals over that surge.

"I still don't think we put together a full game yet," Cleary said. "We've played good in stretches and been able to score some goals."

Drew Miller and Justin Abdelkader both registered a goal and one assist for the Red Wings, who have won four straight and seven of their last eight games. Brian Rafalski collected three assists for Detroit, and Jimmy Howard made 33 saves.

Andy McDonald posted a goal and two assists for the Blues, who have dropped five in a row on the heels of a seven-game winning streak. Jaroslav Halak was beaten seven times on 31 shots.

With the game tied at three, the Red Wings scored four times in a 3:14 span to take control.

Cleary fired a low shot inside the left post with 7:34 remaining, and Henrik Zetterberg beat Halak 46 seconds later before Brad Stuart and Tomas Holmstrom netted power-play goals a little over a minute apart.

"Two and a half periods we played a really good game," said Blues defenseman Eric Brewer. "We had them on their heels, we had tons of opportunities."

Miller was the recipient of a fortuitous bounce on the game's first goal. Halak denied Miller's bid from the high slot, but the Slovakian netminder inadvertently swatted the rebound into his own net at the 8:05 mark of the first period.

The Blues tied the game 1:32 later when Brad Boyes backhanded the puck under Howard's right pad for his third goal in as many games.

St. Louis grabbed a 2-1 lead on the power play as Brad Winchester tapped in a pass from McDonald through the legs of Howard at 8:16 of the middle stanza.

Abdelkader redirected a Rafalski point shot past Halak with 6:18 remaining in the second period, then Cleary's shot from the half boards gave the Red Wings a 3-2 lead with 3 1/2 minutes to play in the frame.

The Blues pulled even 37 seconds later when Boyes intercepted Johan Franzen's pass and made a centering feed from behind the Detroit net to McDonald, who slipped the puck past a prone Howard.

Game Notes

Howard improved to 23-1-3 over his last 27 regular-season starts dating back to last season...Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom had an 11-game point streak stopped by the Blues...Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall both had two assists for Detroit...Forward T.J. Hensick made his Blues debut after being called up from the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL on Tuesday. Hensick played his 100th career game...St. Louis went 4-1-1 against Detroit last season.