Barbashev's early goal helps Blues blank Red Wings

Posted at 10:59 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 22:59:23-05
DETROIT (AP) -- Carter Hutton made 25 saves for his second straight shutout, Ivan Barbashev scored 2:06 into the game and Jaden Schwartz had an empty-net goal in the final seconds, helping the St. Louis Blues beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 on Wednesday night.
The Blues have won a season-high five straight games, and coach Mike Yeo has won six of seven since replacing the fired Ken Hitchcock.
Detroit has dropped five straight games for the second time in less than a month, matching its season-long losing streak. Detroit also lost five straight following a 6-2 start to what's become a difficult season.
The Red Wings played their first home game since team owner Mike Ilitch died Friday.
Barbashev, playing in his ninth NHL game, scored his second goal in four games and looked like a savvy veteran with lots of time and space afforded to him by lackluster defense. The Russian center skated with the puck along the left boards and into the middle of the circle without much resistance, then flicked a wrist shot that beat Petr Mrazek on his blocker side.
Mrazek finished with 27 saves and didn't get any help from his teammates at the other end of the rink -- and sometimes even closer.
At one point, defenseman Brendan Smith had the puck near Mrazek and lost it -- without any pressure from the Blues -- and that led to St. Louis getting a scoring chance.
With a little more than a minute left, Detroit pulled Mrazek for an extra skater and could not take advantage of the opportunity to extend the game to overtime. Instead, Schwartz scored an empty-net goal.
NOTES: The Red Wings paid tribute to Ilitch with "Mr. I" patches on their jerseys, a video montage and a moment of silence before the game. Players, coaches and executives paid their respects to the Ilitch family earlier in the day along with friends, family and the general public. ... The Blues drafted Barbashev in the second round, No. 33 overall, three years ago.
   St. Louis: Hosts Vancouver on Thursday night.
   Detroit: Hosts Washington on Saturday night.