|- Photo Gallery|
|Post-Game Comments: Denis Savard|
|Opponents Video: N. Lidstrom / H. Zetterberg / M. Babcock|
NHL leader Detroit scored three goals in the opening period to finally beat Chicago this season en route to a 3-1 decision before the largest crowd in nearly eight years at the United Center Sunday.
|Troy Brouwer (26) checks Detroit's Aaron Downey during the third period. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)|
The Blackhawks had beaten the Red Wings in their first four meetings this season, accounting for half of their losses, but the visitors jumped out in front in the first minute of the game when Henrik Zetterberg was left all alone in front of the Chicago net to knock in his 26th of the campaign.
The Hawks suffered their 5th straight loss (0-4-1) while the Wings won for the 7th time in their last eight games to improve to a league best 32-8-3 mark. The Hawks dropped their record to .500 (19-19-3).
The standing room crowd of 21,869 was the third straight sellout and the biggest since April 17, 1999 when the Hawks edged the Wings 3-2.
Following Zetterberg's opening goal, Dan Cleary notched his 15th at 14:06 on a short tip-in. Detroit wound up the 1st period scoring on a power play at 19:51 when Mikael Samuelsson scored on a bad angle 25-footer that beat Nikolai Khabibulin.
Wings goalie Chris Osgood, sporting the lowest goals against average in the NHL (1.71), lost his bid for a shutout late in the 2nd period when Rene Bourque tipped Tuomo Ruutu's 45-footer past him to make it 3-1.
Neither team scored in the final period and Detroit outshot Chicago 28-20 with the visitors 1-of-2 on the power play and the Hawks going 0-of-2.
|Martin Havlat (right) battles with Valtteri Filppula in his first game back from a groin injury. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)|
The Hawks' top scorer from last season, Martin Havlat, returned to action after missing the last six games because of a groin injury. He has only played in 13 of 41 games this season after injuring his shoulder in the opener in Minnesota. Seven other Hawks are on injured reserve, including the NHL's top rookie goal scorer, Jonathan Toews.
Both goalies came up with several key saves, but Osgood caught a few more breaks as the Hawks had three other shots that rattled off the goal posts.
Hawks coach Denis Savard felt his team played hard but dug itself into a hole by giving up three goals in the 1st period against a team as powerful as Detoit.
The Hawks leave Monday to face Montreal Tuesday night before returning to the United Center Wednesday to host the Dallas Stars (7:30 pm).
AP Notes: Zetterberg played his third game after missing five due to a back injury. He has points in each of his last eight games (five goals, eight assists). ... The United Center crowd of 21,869 was the Blackhawks' largest this season and third straight sellout. ... Chicago RW Troy Brouwer was in the lineup after being recalled from Rockford of the AHL on Saturday. ... Detroit LW Tomas Holmstrom missed his eighth game because of a bruised knee. Red Wings C Kirk Maltby sat out his 19th with a back sprain.
Red Wings Quotes
Defenseman Niklas Lidstrom: "It's a good feeling. They've had our number so far this year. I thought we were playing well defensively today. We kept them on the outside. They had some good chances in the second period ... In the third I thought we settled down and played real well defensively again."
Coach Mike Babcock: "It was nice that we were playing Chicago ... It would have been a game we would have overlooked if we hadn't been beaten by them so many times."