Series (Game 4 of 5)

Detroit leads 5-0

Game 1: Sunday, December 8th
Red Wings4
Game 2: Tuesday, December 31st
Red Wings5
Game 3: Friday, March 7th
Red Wings7
Game 4: Saturday, March 22nd
Red Wings4Final
Game 5: Saturday, March 29th
Red Wings6Final

Red Wings 4

(44-18-3, 100 pts)

Blues 2

(39-20-6, 93 pts)

3:00 PM ET, March 22, 2003

Scottrade Center, Saint Louis, Missouri

1 2 3 T
DET 2 0 24
STL 0 0 22

S. Fedorov (Red Wings - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

D. Weight (Blues - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

H. Zetterberg (Red Wings - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Red Wings seven points ahead of Blues in Central

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Losing a two-goal advantage didn't cause the Detroit Red Wings to lose their cool. Instead, Detroit responded to maintain its mastery over the St. Louis Blues.

 Nicklas Lidstrom

Nicklas Lidstrom scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and Curtis Joseph stopped 24 shots as the Red Wings won their sixth straight, 4-2 on Saturday.

"Overall, we didn't really panic or anything, even when they tied up the game," Lidstrom said. "We still wanted to play our game and that's what we did."

The win moved the first-place Red Wings seven points ahead of the second-place Blues in the Central Division. Each team has eight games to play.

The Red Wings have dominated the series of late, going 4-0 against the Blues this season. St. Louis has just two victories in its previous 14 games against Detroit.

"We've got to find a way to beat this team," Blues center Doug Weight said. "We had a good effort in this game, but we just came up short."

Detroit has won 17 of its last 19 games (17-1-0-1). The loss snapped a six-game home-ice winning streak for the Blues.

Lidstrom scored the winner at 11:28 of the third period. Igor Larionov passed to Lidstrom, who was all alone on top of the right faceoff circle. Lidstrom slapped the puck by goaltender Chris Osgood.

"It was just a great play by Igor," Lidstrom said. "He got the puck down low and no one was really covering me. I just went towards the net and Iggy found me, so it was a great pass by Iggy."

Steve Yzerman added an empty-net goal in the final minute.

"It was probably as close to a playoff game as we've played in a long time," Red Wings coach Dave Lewis said. "It was physical, intense and emotional. After they tied it, I thought we actually attacked even a little better after that."

The Blues came back from a 2-0 deficit with two goals in the third period. Doug Weight scored on a power play at 1:53. Eric Boguniecki got his 20th goal to even the game less than four minutes later. Boguniecki grabbed a loose puck at St. Louis' blue line, skated in and beat Joseph with a wrist shot from the top of the slot.

"They came back in the third and I was hoping for them not to come back and tie the game," Joseph said. "That was tough, but fortunately Nick scored a big goal for us."

Blues defenseman Al MacInnis said he thought the momentum switched after St. Louis tied the game.

"We were playing our game in the third period," MacInnis said. "We were not back on our heels. We were sticking with our game plan."

Detroit scored two goals in the first period. Henrik Zetterberg connected on a power play. His first shot hit the post, but he got the rebound, spun, and his shot hit Blues defenseman Alexander Khavanov.

The puck bounced off Khavanov toward Osgood and went in after hitting Osgood's skate.

Later in the period, Mathieu Schneider scored on a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle with .1 seconds remaining.

"It's frustrating. We gave them the first two on a platter," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said. "The second one was a tough one to give up. You can't give them easy goals. They find ways to score, so you can't give them anything.

"We did a good job to come back and get in the game. We had to play our best to be effective and we didn't play our best."

Game notes
Detroit RW Brett Hull has 13 goals in his last 19 games and needs five goals to move into a fourth-place tie with Phil Esposito (717). ... RW Valeri Bure did not play for the Blues, who dealt for him March 11. Bure injured his knee Feb. 15 and is expected to be out for up to two more weeks. ... Barret Jackman is the only rookie in the league playing nearly 20 minutes a game. He is second among rookies with a plus-19.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press