Local News

St.  Louis,  MO (SportsNetwork.com)  - Justin Abdelkader's  two goals and Petr 
Mrazek's  23-save  shutout sent the  spiraling St.  Louis Blues to their sixth 
straight  regulation loss, a 3-0 setback that concluded the regular season for 
both clubs. 

The  defeat allowed Colorado to clinch the Central Division and the No. 2 seed 
for  the  upcoming Western Conference  playoffs, where  the Blues will take on 
defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago in the opening round. 

Prior  to its skid, the longest by the Blues since a seven-gamer from Dec. 26, 
2009-Jan.  7,  2010, St. Louis owned  a seven-point advantage on the Avalanche 
for  first place. The  team has mustered an anemic five goals while being shut 
out three times during the stretch. 

"You  look  at the big picture,"  an optimistic Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock 
said  afterward.  "The big  picture is  we set a  record for  [wins]. We had a 
brutal  stretch  here at the end.  Everyone went through a brutal stretch. The 
teams  that  had the  Olympians, at  some period  of time,  they hit the wall. 
Chicago's stretch was right after the break, ours happened now." 

Detroit  (39-28-15),  already locked  into  a  quarterfinal matchup  with  the 
Presidents'  Trophy-winning  Boston Bruins  in the East,  also received a goal 
from  Riley  Sheahan and two  assists by Pavel  Datsyuk in support of Mrazek's 
second career shutout. 

"It's  always good to end the season on a good note heading into the playoffs, 
and  I think  we're doing a lot of  good things of late and looking forward to 
the  Boston series  in the first round,"  said Abdelkader. "It's going to be a 
lot of fun." 

Ryan  Miller finished  with  just  18 saves  for  St.  Louis (52-23-7),  which 
nonetheless set a new franchise high for wins in one season. 

Playing  without three  of their top five  point producers and a few other key 
regulars,  the Blues generated few scoring chances and were outplayed by their 
former division rival for much of the game. 

"It's  a mixture of things, but we've got to get more [chances] inside," Blue
forward  Alexander  Steen said of the  team's scoring struggles. "A lot of the 
stuff's  being  generated on  the outside.  The power  play hasn't really been 
clicking the last few games here." 

The  Red Wings had  a power-play tally by Tomas Tatar midway through the first 
period  waved off when Joakim Andersson was called for interfering Miller, but 
had a goal count moments later to gain the upper hand. 

Datsyuk  forced a turnover  in the neutral zone before sending a pass to Brian 
Lashoff,  whose  long shot  bounced off  Abdelkader's body and  went in as the 
Detroit forward screened Miller with 6:31 left in the opening frame. 

Mrazek  made the lead  stand up with a diving right pad save on Maxim Lapierre 
with  around eight  minutes to go in  the second period, and Sheahan made it a 
2-0  game when his  wrist shot from the left circle went through Miller's pads 
3:41 prior to the final intermission. 

The Blues  put up 10  shots in  the third period,  but Mrazek turned them all 
aside  to complete  the whitewash. Abdelkader put the finishing touches on the 
victory  with a pretty redirection of a Datsyuk feed while skating towards the 
St. Louis net with 7:17 left to play. 

                                   Game Notes 

The Blues played without forwards David Backes (lower body), T.J. Oshie (upper 
body),  Patrik  Berglund (shoulder)  and Vladimir Sobotka (undisclosed), while 
defensemen  Alex Pietrangelo  and Barret Jackman were rested ... Forward Johan 
Franzen  and  defensemen  Niklas  Kronwall and  Danny  DeKeyser  were  healthy 
scratches  for Detroit, with blueliner Ryan Sproul making his NHL debut in the 
game  ...  Sheahan has  now scored in  three straight games  ... The Red Wings 
ended  the regualar season 21-15-5 on the road, while St. Louis went 28-9-4 on 
home ice. 

 
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