Good news, bad news
Red Wings move into first place, but lose Fedorov
Updated: Saturday February 24, 2001 10:54 AM
Detroit defeated St. Louis 4-2 Friday night to move past the Blues into first place in the Central Division and second overall in the Western Conference.
"We've been looking up at them for a long time," Kris Draper said. "They've still got two games in hand on us but it feels good to be back at the top of the Central."
The Blues had been in first place all season but are without four of their best players because of injuries.
"We thought we could get the win with the ... lineup they had," Red Wings' coach Scotty Bowman said.
Detroit improved its record to 37-16-6-4 for 84 points, while St. Louis is 37-15-7-2 for 83 points. The Red Wings are 8-0-2 in their last 10 games.
"They closed the gap and they've been playing well," said St. Louis coach Joel Quenneville. "I'm not surprised that they closed the gap and made a run at us. We hadn't really hit any slumps."
Fedorov was hurt late in the first period when St. Louis defenseman Bryce Salvadore's helmet hit Fedorov in the face after Fedorov took a shot on goal.
Bowman said he didn't know if Fedorov would play Sunday against Phoenix.
Detroit broke a 1-1 tie with two goals in the second period.
Kris Draper got the go-ahead goal when he gathered in a pass from Brent Gilchrist at the St. Louis blue line and beat goaltender Brent Johnson with a shot high to the glove side from the inside edge of the left circle.
"I was going one way and shot it back across my body," Draper said.
With the Blues' Reid Simpson off for roughing Kirk Maltby, Tomas Holmstrom tipped in a pass from Steve Duchesne to make it 3-1.
"Their power play is pretty good," Quenneville said. "They don't make it easy for you to clear. They're one of the best teams at tying you up before you get possession."
Scott Mellanby got St. Louis' second goal with 6:27 left.
The Red Wings opened the scoring in the first period when Fedorov got his 31st goal by putting a rebound over a sprawling Johnson. But the Blues tied it just 44 seconds later when Scott Young got his 30th on a 2-on-1 break.
Notes: Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios returned to the lineup Friday after missing 44 games because of surgery on his left knee. To make room for Chelios, the Red Wings put Larry Murphy on the injured list with a sore heel. ... The last time the Blues had lost three straight games was March 7-11, 1999. ... Johnson is the grandson of the Red Wings Hall of Fame player, coach, general manager and broadcaster Sid Abel.