Blues sweep Wings in Stockholm
Keith Tkachuk had two power-play goals and an assist and the St. Louis Blues overcame a two-goal deficit for the second straight night and beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-3 Saturday to sweep the two-game set in Stockholm.
"Detroit is the best team in the Western Conference and to come over here and beat them twice is huge for us," Tkachuk said.
"Hopefully, we can keep building. It's a great learning experience for some of our young guys."
"In both games, our goaltending really kept us in the game in the first period. They were on our heels a little bit in the first period in both games. It could have been over in the first."
Tkachuk said he enjoyed the week in Sweden.
"I had a blast, it was a great experience," he said. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It was fun playing before a great crowd and see our own fans travelling all the way from St. Louis."
St. Louis trailed 2-0 early, then again 3-2 in the second period before scoring two goals 13 seconds apart to take a 4-3 lead and silence the pro-Red Wings crowd.
The Blues won the opener 4-3 on Friday night before another capacity crowd at the Ericsson Globe Arena in the Swedish capital.
"Our penalty killing wasn't good tonight, either," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "We know we have to play better for 60 minutes than we've been doing here."
Andy McDonald, Brad Boyes and Patrik Berglund also scored for St. Louis.
Tomas Holmstrom and Niklas Kronwall, two of the Red Wings' eight Swedes, and Daniel Cleary scored for Detroit.
With so many Swedes on the roster, Detroit is arguably the most popular NHL team in Sweden. There were red jerseys throughout the crowd at both games.
Detroit came out fast in the first period, taking a 2-0 lead just 2:08 in and opening the scoring after just seconds.
Holmstrom, parked in front of the goal, tipped in the first goal after being set up by fellow Swede Johan Franzen. Cleary made it 2-0 from close range.
Tkachuk made it 2-1 with 1:33 left in the period, just after the Red Wings had killed a two-man advantage by the Blues for nearly a minute.
McDonald tied it with a power-play goal at 3:47 in the second period, tapping in a backhand rebound past goalie Jimmy Howard.
Kronwall put Detroit ahead again with a shot from the right circle at 7:29.
Brad Boyes tied it at 3 at 13:24, beating the goalie with a shot from a tough angle behind the pads. Just 13 seconds later, Howard gave up another goal exactly the same way after Patrik Berglund's shot from the right circle.
Tkachuk scored midway through the final period, tipping in a shot from close range.
Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin received a standing ovation and the loudest cheers of the evening when he dropped the puck in a ceremonial faceoff before the game. The Stockholm native retired this week after an NHL career that lasted nearly two decades.
This was the second straight year the NHL opened the season with a two-game series in the Swedish capital. Last year, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators split their series in the same arena.
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Florida Panthers played a similar doubleheader in Helsinki — the first regular-season games ever in Finland.