The Blues have done some exciting things in the first few days of this new NHL season. But there are still mountains to climb, and one of them stands on the banks of the Detroit River. Guys with notes on their chests had not won a game in the vicinity in nearly two years.

Pardon, make that have not.

Skating beneath their multiple Stanley Cup championship banners, the Red Wings staged a third-period rally and defeated the Blues 5-3 on Friday at Joe Louis Arena. It was only the second loss of the young season for the Blues, who had won four in a row since Jan. 22, or since running into another large obstacle — United Center in Chicago

At times, no mountain seems high enough to keep the Blues down. After falling behind the Wings 2-0 midway through the first period, the Blues battled back to square, even took a 3-2 lead into the third period. But in the end, the mountain still stood.

A goal by Detroit's Jonathan Ericsson tied the score, and a power-play goal by Pavel Datsyuk decided it. The Blues had goals from Kevin Shattenkirk, Matt D'Agostini and Patrik Berglund. They also had no love from the officiating crew of Chris Lee and Ian Walsh.

A phantom match penalty on David Backes with just over 10 minutes to play provided the Wings with a winning-goal platform.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock bit his tongue and offered no comment about the penalty on Backes, other than to say: "It ended up being the turning point of the game. There was a lot of special teams. We played great. We came back and played great."

The Blues have not won in Detroit since walloping the Wings 10-3 on March 30, 2010. A 6-0 opening night laugh track at Scottrade Center suggested better days in Detroit were imminent. Maybe they are ... maybe next time.