ST. LOUIS — Vladimir Tarasenko's transition to the NHL certainly did not seem overly difficult.
The Russian rookie winger scored goals on his first NHL shots Saturday, helping push the St. Louis Blues to a 6-0 victory over Detroit before a rollicking standing-room-only crowd of 20,035 at the season opener.
"It was like dreaming," said Tarasenko, a 21-year old from Russia. "Like dreaming now."
An intense night at Scottrade Center featured two breakaway goals, including a short-handed one from T.J. Oshie, and the Blues were 4-for-5 on the power play.
The Blues kicked off their 2013 season in style with the first season-opening shutout in franchise history as Jaroslav Halak stopped 14 shots.
Blues winger Chris Stewart, one of the focal points this season after slumping from 28 to 15 goals a year ago, scored twice against the Red Wings.
"For me personally, I've been thinking about opening night for a long time," Stewart said. "I really pushed it off the ice and in the gym this summer. I want to re-establish myself as a premier power forward in this league ... to score two goals in the opener is a good thing."
Tarasenko grabbed a long pass off the boards from Blues defenseman Ian Cole and worked his way quickly behind Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey for an early first-period breakaway.
Tarasenko skated in on goal patiently before ripping a quick wrist shot high to the stick side of Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard just 6 minutes, 36 seconds into his first NHL game.
"That's a great way to start the season," Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. "It got the fans going, got us going, then he comes back with another beauty. It's going to be fun to see how many he puts up this year."
Oshie said the Blues fed off the electricity emanating from their highly touted rookie.
"I felt like it was my first goal," Oshie said. "That first one was amazing, that second one was maybe even better. He's a great player."
The talented Russian winger became the 14th player in Blues history to score a goal in his NHL debut. Tarasenko also is the first Blues player to score two goals in his debut since Doug Palazzari in 1974.
Tarasenko increased the wow factor when he scored again on his second shot for a power-play goal 29 seconds into the second period.
After taking a feed on left wing from Kevin Shattenkirk, Tarasenko faked his way through Quincey, then went from his backhand to his forehand before lifting a quick shot past Howard.
With their aggressive play forcing Detroit into penalties and mistakes, the Blues pushed their lead to 2-0 on a power-play goal by Stewart.
Stewart, who has lost 20 pounds and is skating noticeably quicker, grabbed the loose rebound of a shot by Andy McDonald with the Red Wings in disarray around their net. Stewart gained control of the puck and quickly fired it past Howard.
Oshie made it 4-0 late in the second period during a Detroit power play. A perfect long pass by Pietrangelo sent Oshie into the clear and Oshie did the rest, beating Howard with a quick shot.
The Blues were the aggressors throughout the night, outshooting Detroit 17-2 in the first period and 36-14 overall.
Stewart made it 5-0 early in the third period with the Blues' third power-play goal of the night, sliding a shot through Howard. Patrik Berglund's power-play goal gave the Blues a rare six-goal outing against the Red Wings.
For the first time in 20 years, the Red Wings' roster did not include the name of superstar defenseman and future Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom.
It showed a bit as the Wings were raked for five goals and Howard was pulled from the game early in the third period, replaced by Jonas Gustavsson.
Between the second and third periods, Blues fans were informed of the death of St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial at age 92. Musial wore No. 6 and the Blues' six goals seemed to be an eerie form of karma on a sad night for baseball fans everywhere.