ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Backup goalie Petr Mrazek kept the injury-riddled St. Louis Blues down heading into the playoffs with his second career shutout in a 3-0 victory for the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.
The Blues had been in contention for the No. 1 overall seed but lost their last six and missed a chance at taking the Central Division with Colorado clinching on a tiebreaker before playing at Anaheim Sunday night. Minus three of their top five scorers, their top faceoff man and two top defensemen, they were shut out for the second straight game and third time during the slump.
Justin Abdelkader scored twice, Riley Sheahan added a goal and Pavel Datsyuk had two assists for the Red Wings, who are locked into the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and will play Boston.
The Blues set a franchise record with 52 wins but are the third seed in the Western Conference entering a first-round series against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. They're scuffling to say the least with the franchise's longest losing streak since a seven-game skid from Dec. 26, 2009 to Jan. 7, 2010, and they've mustered five goals the last six games.
The Red Wings, who rested Jimmy Howard, Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen, were 3-1 against Boston. The Blues were 3-2 against Chicago.
Mrazek is 2-4 this season and has three career victories, one of them in his NHL debut in St. Louis on Feb. 7, 2013. He bested the Blues' Ryan Miller, who has lost his last five decisions.
T.J. Oshie (head), David Backes (foot) and Alex Pietrangelo (undisclosed) led a long list of scratches for the Blues. Oshie has 60 points, Backes 57 and Pietrangelo 51.
The Red Wings were outshot 7-4 in the first period, but took the lead on Abdelkader's deflection at 13:30. Near the midpoint of the period, an apparent goal by Tomas Tatar was waved off by a goaltender interference on Joakim Andersson, who slashed Miller's stick seconds earlier.
Sheahan scored for the third straight game on the counter-attack with his ninth overall making it 2-0 at 16:19 of the second and Abdelkader made it 3-0 with another deflection in the third.
Notes: Blues D Jay Bouwmeester played in his 717th consecutive game - the longest streak in major pro sports - and was the only St. Louis player to dress every game. ... Miller is 2-9-2 against Detroit. ... The Red Wings are preparing for their 23rd consecutive playoff appearance.
Saturday, 12 April 2014 21:03 Published in Sports
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Matt Adams homered, Matt Carpenter drove in two runs and Adam Wainwright saved a tired bullpen by lasting seven innings for the St. Louis Cardinals in their 10-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
It was hardly a vintage performance by Wainwright (2-1), who helped his own cause with an RBI single. He gave up a homer to Junior Lake on his first pitch and allowed six more hits and three runs after that while striking out eight. The four runs were twice as many as Wainwright yielded in his first two starts.
But the right-hander, who led the majors with 241 2-3 innings pitched last year, was able to give the Cardinals' bullpen some rest. St. Louis relievers Carlos Martinez, Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal all threw more than 20 pitches in Friday night's 11-inning loss.
The win was Wainwright's 101st with the Cardinals, tying Matt Morris, Larry Jackson and Max Lanier for 10th place on the franchise list.
In addition to Carpenter, Daniel Descalso also had two hits with an RBI and two runs scored. Adams hit his first home run, a leadoff shot in the second inning, and Jon Jay drove in two runs with a single.
The Cubs' Nate Schierholtz, who had four hits Friday night, had two doubles and an RBI.
St. Louis did most of its damage off starter Carlos Villanueva (1-3), who allowed nine runs and 10 hits in three innings.
After Adams' homer tied the game at 1, the Cardinals sent eight more batters to the plate in the second. Molina and Allen Craig followed Adams with singles, and they came home on RBI singles by Descalso and Wainwright. Carpenter then drove home Descalso with an infield single to shortstop that made it 4-1.
St. Louis sent 10 more hitters to the plate in the fourth inning and broke it open by scoring five times.
Descalso started the inning with a double and was safe at third on Wainwright's sacrifice, with Wainwright reaching first on the fielder's choice. Carpenter and Kolten Wong followed with RBI singles and Matt Holiday had an RBI groundout. Jay's single off reliever Chris Rusin with two outs made it 9-2.
NOTES: Chicago manager Rick Renteria had a successful replay challenge in the third inning of first base umpire Jerry Layne's call on Jay's grounder to shortstop Starlin Castro. Layne had called Jay safe at first, but after reviewing the play, Jay was ruled out. ... St. Louis SS Jhonny Peralta, who has two hits in his first 32 at-bats for the lowest batting average among all qualifiers (.063), was given the day off. ... Castro, who had two hits, has hit safely in eight of his last nine games. ... Former Cardinal Edwin Jackson (0-0) will take the mound for the Cubs in the series finale Sunday against Michael Wacha (1-0). ... Craig was 1 for 12 on the homestand and hitless in his last eight at-bats before his second-inning single. ... With a victory Sunday, the Cubs can win a series for the first time since taking two of three from the Reds from Sept. 9-11 last season. Chicago has dropped eight straight series since.
DALLAS (AP) -- Trevor Daley had a goal and an assist, Kari Lehtonen recorded his fifth shutout of the season, and the Dallas Stars clinched their first playoff berth since 2008 with a 3-0 victory against the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.
The Stars missed the postseason a franchise-record five straight seasons after never going more than one without a playoff trip since moving to Dallas in 1993. The longest previous drought was three seasons in Minnesota in the early 1970s.
St. Louis, outshot 40-22, dropped its fifth straight game for the first time since February of last year. The playoff-bound Blues also jeopardized their shot at the top seed in the Western Conference.
Daley, the only holdover from the team that lost to Detroit in the Western Conference finals six years ago, and Lehtonen were on the ice three years ago for a season-ending loss at Minnesota when Dallas just needed to win to move on.
Dallas' victory eliminated Phoenix in the race for the West's final playoff spot and kept the Stars from having to worry about a potential win-or-go-home game at the Coyotes on Sunday.
Daley put Dallas up 1-0 when he stole the puck during a series of St. Louis turnovers and raced ahead of everyone before beating Ryan Miller on the glove side early in the second period.
Tyler Seguin's team-leading 37th goal came on the power play 10 seconds after the Blues' Dmitrij Jaskin was called for hooking. Daley sent a pass to Jamie Benn, who zipped the puck through the crease to an open Seguin for an easy shot past Miller.
After Ryan Garbutt tipped in Alex Goligoski's shot from the point in the third period of the home finale, the last 15 minutes were basically a celebration for the sellout crowd that included a fan with a No. 99 jersey that read "Stanley" - a reference to the franchise's only Stanley Cup title in 1999 when the hockey playoffs were a rite of spring in North Texas.
The Blues knew T.J. Oshie would be sidelined after he took a hit to the head that resulted in a four-game suspension for Minnesota's Mike Rupp. They also ended up missing former Stars captain Brenden Morrow, who injured his foot in practice before the Wild game, and Vladimir Sobotka and Derek Roy, who got hurt during that game.
St. Louis didn't get its first power play until the third period and couldn't convert on two chances with the man advantage in the final 12 minutes.
After the Stars killed the last power play, the crowd stood and cheered for the final two minutes, counting down the last few seconds.
NOTES: Taylor Lipsett, a Dallas-area resident who won a 2014 Paralympic gold medal with the U.S. in Sochi, was honored before the game. ... The Stars signed popular broadcasters Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh to contract extensions. Strangis, the play-by-play voice, has been with the franchise since it was still in Minnesota, and color analyst Reaugh is in his 18th season with the team. The call from Strangis and Reaugh is on TV and radio. ... Because of the rash of injuries, the Blues recalled Adam Cracknell, Keith Aucoin and Ty Rattie from their Chicago AHL affiliate.