Hasek, 41, made 29 saves, and Henrik Zetterberg, Daniel Cleary and Mikael Samuelsson scored goals in the Detroit Red Wings’ 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. Hasek stopped many prime scoring chances – some while flat on his back – to help the Red Wings to their fourth win in five games and send Chicago to its first regulation loss under new coach Denis Savard (5-1-3).
“Especially in the first period on their power play, I had to make like four saves in two seconds and the whole game I felt pretty busy,” Hasek said. “For me, I think that was the first time I faced 30-plus shots and it’s even better when you win a game like that.”
Detroit coach Mike Babcock credited Hasek with keeping the Blackhawks at bay.
The Blackhawks have played well since Savard took over Nov. 27, and with the return of Martin Havlat and the signing of Peter Bondra the past week, Chicago’s offence has shown more spark.
“Dom played great,” Babcock said. “We had some good penalty killing.
“We scored some timely goals. We had chances and they had chances. Havlat is a good player for them. They’re on a bit of a roll; they have momentum. We knew it was going to be a tough game.”
But Hasek made it tougher on the Blackhawks. Only Jeff Hamilton and Tuomo Ruutu beat him. Chicago got 23 saves from Nikolai Khabibulin.
“We played well,” Savard said. “It was a great effort and created a lot of chances off our forecheck. “I thought we were going to get something out of it again. Hasek played well, he really did. But our guys battled again, and if we continue to do that, we’ll win a lot of games.”
Cleary extended his point streak to seven games. He has five goals and four assists in the span.
Detroit rookie forward Tomas Kopecky broke his collarbone a minute into the third and is expected to miss up to three months following surgery.
The 24-year-old centre will undergo surgery Friday, the Red Wings said.
“That’s a big blow for that kid,” Babcock said. “It’s unfortunate for him because he’s really getting better.”
Kopecky, who has one goal in 27 NHL games, lost his footing and hit the boards as he approached the Chicago blue-line. Blackhawks defenceman Jim Vandermeer then fell on top of him.
The Red Wings centre was motionless on the ice for a few minutes before being helped to the dressing room by members of the Detroit training staff.
Zetterberg gave Detroit a 1-0 lead just 3:57 in, completing a 2-on-1 break with Pavel Datsyuk.
Hamilton tied it 1-1 at 10:44 when he and Patrick Sharp found themselves alone in front of the Detroit net following a Red Wings turnover.
After Bondra checked Robert Lang off the puck on the boards in the Detroit zone, the puck drifted to Vandermeer at the blue-line. He passed it down low to Hamilton, who gave it to Sharp, and then took Sharp’s return pass before firing in a shot.
Cleary made it 2-1 with the teams skating 4-on-4 just under two minutes later. After entering the Chicago zone on a give-and-go with Lang, Cleary beat Khabibulin with a low shot from the left circle.
Samuelsson’s power-play goal with 8:24 left in the third gave Detroit a 3-1 lead. He beat Khabibulin high on the glove side with a rising drive from the right circle.
Ruutu made it 3-2 with 6:10 left in the third, scoring from a scrum at the edge of the crease.
Notes: Chicago RW Rene Bourque returned after missing 13 games because of a neck laceration . . . Blackhawks D Adrian Aucoin missed his 10th game with a groin pull. Chicago LW Tony Salmelainen was a healthy scratch . . . Detroit D Niklas Kronwall sat out his sixth game with a groin injury. C Jiri Hudler was a healthy scratch.