CHICAGO – Marian Hossa has fit in perfectly with the Detroit Red Wings.
Hossa scored the deciding goal in a shootout, and had a goal and an assist in regulation in Detroit’s 6-5 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.
Hossa, who signed a one-year, US$7.45-million contract with the Red Wings last summer as a free agent, has four goals and seven assists in eight games.
With the shootout tied at 1, Hossa, Detroit’s fourth shooter, blasted a slap shot past goalie Nikolai Khabibulin. Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews also had goals in the tiebreaker.
“The goalie played different each shot,” Hossa said. “So I didn’t know what to do. The best thing is to shoot the puck.”
Chicago’s Patrick Kane scored on a 5-on-3 power play with 7:27 left in the third period to tie it at 5 and set up overtime.
Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall and Jiri Hudler scored for Detroit in the first half of the third period to erase a 4-2 Chicago lead and give the Red Wings a 5-4 advantage. Detroit has won four straight and earned points in its last seven games (6-0-1).
“This was a tough game to play in,” Hossa said. “Chicago played well, especially in the beginning. We came back strong.”
“We played on back-to back nights, so it was good to come back from down 4-2 in the opposition rink,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock added.
Johan Franzen also scored for the Red Wings in regulation, but he hobbled off the ice with 6:55 left in the second following a collision at centre ice with Chicago’s Brent Sopel. Franzen didn’t return and apparently sustained a knee injury.
“We’ll know on Monday,” Babcock said. “Obviously, he’s hurt. Whether its hyper-extended or there’s any ligament damage, we’ll find out later.”
Martin Havlat, Kris Versteeg, Aaron Johnson and Ben Eager also scored in regulation for the Blackhawks in front of a franchise-record, regular-season crowd of 22,690. Chicago has points in its last six (3-0-3).
“We’ll take the point, but obviously we’re disappointed since we had a two-goal lead,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “It was a good measuring stick for us.
“We need to be more patient with the puck. “They (the Red Wings) don’t need to need much to create with their skill level. They may have improved from being a Cup champion over the summer.”
Khabibulin made 39 saves in starting back-to-back games for the first time this season. Detroit’s Ty Conklin stopped 36 shots.
Franzen skated to the net and opened the scoring with a power-play goal 1:30 in. Versteeg’s power-play score, on a rebound, tied it at 1 with 3:26 left in the first.
Johnson gave Chicago a 2-1 lead two minutes into the second. His low shot from the right circle trickled between Conklin’s pads and into the net.
Hossa’s power-play goal at 8:51 of the second tied it at 2. He ripped in a one-time shot from between the circles after taking Niklas Kronwall’s feed.
Havlat restored Chicago’s lead, 3-2, just over three minutes later. He skated from behind the net and lofted in a backhand shot.
Eager’s deflection made it 4-2 with 5:18 left in the second.
Kronwall cut it to 4-3 at 2:07 of the third. Datsyuk tied it just over a minute later, tucking in a feed from Hossa to complete a give-and-go.
With Khabibulin down, Hudler scored into an open net and made it 5-4 at 9:23 of the third after taking Mikael Samuelsson’s cross-ice pass.
Notes: Johnson’s goal was his second in two games, but only his the ninth of his career in 152 NHL games. … Detroit D Andreas Lilja returned after missing two games following an appendectomy. … Chicago D Niklas Hjalmarsson missed his seventh game with bruised ribs. … The Red Wings and Blackhawks will wear retro-style jerseys when they meet in the NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field on New Year’s Day. The Blackhawks’ jersey is mostly black and based on the team’s 1936-37 design. The Red Wings’ version is white with red trim and has an Old English script “D” logo. The jerseys were unveiled between periods Saturday night.