DETROIT Manny Legace remembers Pavel Datsyuk as a rookie who was hesitant to take shots.
He found out the hard way that it s no longer the case.
Datsyuk had two goals and an assist against Legace and Ty Conklin made 33 saves, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues last night.
Datsyuk was a rookie when the Red Wings won the 2002 Stanley Cup. Legace was the team s backup goalie.
It was hard to get him to shoot the puck, but now he s got confidence, Legace said.
I always talk about I need more shoot. Now maybe I m start a little bit more shoot, he said. And Homer [Holmstrom] always do [screen the goalie] for me. Now I think I feel more confidence.
Nicklas Lidstrom had a goal and an assist and Tomas Holmstrom also scored for Detroit, which won for the eighth time in 10 games.
Patrik Berglund scored for St. Louis, which has lost seven of its last eight, and Legace stopped 37 shots.
Detroit led 2-0 after the first period.
Datsyuk opened the scoring 5:03 into the game with a power-play goal. He beat Legace with a wrist shot from the top inside edge of the left circle with Holmstrom in front of Legace.
Datsyuk has five goals and 10 points in his last four games.
He s (Datsyuk) been playing great. Everything he s doing out there, he s holding on to the puck, he s making good decisions, Holmstrom said. He s shooting the puck more, too, and it s paying off for sure.
Lidstrom then capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play for his fifth goal, when he connected on a slap shot from the high slot with 9:39 left in the opening period.
The Blues had a 1:18 two-man advantage late in the first period but couldn t beat Conklin, despite several scoring chances.
If you dodge a bullet like that late in the first period and go into the second with a 2-0 lead, I think that s pretty helpful, Conklin said.
They took advantage of their special teams and we didn t, he said
The Red Wings scored twice more in the middle period.
Holmstrom got his 10th goal when he tipped in a shot by Brad Stuart 6:59 into the second period. Datsyuk scored his second goal of the game, which came short-handed, with 4:34 left in the second. He made a move on St. Louis Jeff Woywitka, after taking a pass from Marian Hossa, and then put in a shot from the slot. Hossa stole the puck in the Blues zone. It was Datsyuk s 13th goal.
We kind of little bit pressure St. Louis players, and Hossa make a good hit and take the puck, Datsyuk said. I m going to stay in the front of the net.
Berglund spoiled Conklin s shutout bid 1:14 into the third period when he scored from the right circle for his 12th goal after taking the puck away from Holmstrom along the boards.
NOTE: Detroit G Chris Osgood won t have to go on the long-term injured reserve list. He was able to practice effectively at yesterday s morning skate after injuring his groin on Dec. 15. He backed up Conklin lastnight.