Detroit moved into a first-place tie with St. Louis after Friday’s impressive 6-0 victory over the New York Islanders. Steve Thomas scored two goals and Manny Legace stopped 30 shots for his fourth career shutout as the Red Wings won for the third time in four games.
St. Louis had a chance to maintain its one-point advantage in the division, but instead finished in a 2-2 tie with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.
Thomas has five goals in nine games with Detroit since being signed as a free agent on Nov. 5. The 40-year-old forward was working out with a junior team in Toronto after going unsigned during the offseason.
“I’ve always said they (training camps) were overrated anyway,” Thomas said. “I feel about mid-camp, about that time of year when you get some of the aches and pains. But I’ve been able to get through it.”
The Blues needed third-period goals from Keith Tkachuk and Eric Nickulas on Friday to avoid slipping behind Detroit in the Central race. St. Louis nearly pulled out a win in overtime, but Tampa Bay goalie Nikolai Khabibulin made a point-blank save on Petr Cajanek.
“I think we played a pretty disciplined game, playing our type of style and waiting for our chances,” Blues goalie Brent Johnson said. “We got two big goals late.”
Tkachuk has scored a goal in three straight games for the Blues, who are unbeaten in their last three (2-0-1), and have lost just twice in their last 10 (7-2-1).
St. Louis is 7-1 at home this season, and has won five straight at the Savvis Center since a 3-2 loss to Chicago on Nov. 1.