Work in Sports
DETROIT (Ticker) -- With Norris Trophy winner Al MacInnis sidelined with a broken left fibula, Chris Pronger spent more than half the game on the ice for the St. Louis Blues. But he was in the penalty box for the decisive goal.
Pronger led the league in ice time last season and played 35 1/2 minutes in Saturday's 4-2 win at Edmonton, where MacInnis was injured. Tonight, Pronger was on the ice for 31 minutes.
But he took a cross-checking penalty with 5:33 left in the second period that gave Detroit a two-man advantage. Larionov cashed in 18 seconds later, directing Steve Yzerman's cross-ice pass into the top right corner of the net for his second goal of the season.
"I was lucky tonight. I was in the right place at the right time," Larionov said. "It was a big game for us because we struggled a few days ago against Florida. We had some decent shifts, but the most important thing was that we won the game."
Pronger was not happy with the penalties that led to the two-man advantage, calling them "marginal."
"That's tough to overcome on the road. You battle back and then they get the power-play goal. It's like you're behind the eight-ball all night," he said.
"Anytime you get ice time, you're not going to complain. I'll have to play more on the power play, but others still have to step up. If I'm taking (MacInnis') ice time, who's going to take mine?" The Red Wings were 3-for-8 with the extra man, improving to 7-for-26 this season. They also are 7-1-5 in their last 13 home games against St. Louis.
Pierre Turgeon reached a milestone for the second straight game for the Blues, collecting his 400th goal in the first period.
But goaltender Roman Turek remained winless as St. Louis completed a 2-1 road trip.
Yzerman also reached a milestone, tying Paul Coffey for eighth place on the all-time NHL scoring list with 1,487 points.
Turgeon opened the scoring on the power play 7:10 into the first period, but Detroit tied it less than three minutes later as Murphy pinched in from the left point and converted Vyacheslav Kozlov's perfect centering pass.
Tomas Holmstrom put the Red Wings ahead with 5:31 left in the period, pushing a short shot that trickled through Turek.
St. Louis tied it again midway through the second period as Michal Handzus put a wrist shot between goalie Chris Osgood's pads from the slot. But Osgood was perfect thereafter, finishing with 27 saves to improve to 7-7-4 lifetime against the Blues.
"I don't think we're looking at this as only October," said Osgood, who is 3-0-1 with a 1.26 goals-against average. "One of the biggest things last year was we looked too far ahead. This year, we want to take each month as it comes, win the division and the conference and have a better chance to win back the Stanley Cup."
Larionov capped his three-point night in the third period when he pushed the puck back to Lidstrom, who beat Turek to the glove side with a one-time slap shot.
"Those guys are so skilled and efficient. They make it look easy," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said, referring to Larionov and Murphy. "They can pick you apart so well."