Jason Williams had goals in both high-scoring stretches, leading Detroit to a 6-3 win over Chicago on Saturday night for the Red Wings’ third straight victory and sixth in a row at home.
Williams scored his second goal at 13:37 of the third period and was followed by Chicago’s Tony Salmelainen and then Detroit’s Daniil Markov within 50 seconds to make it 5-3.
“That’s the worst feeling when they scored, but we got it right back,” said Detroit winger Tomas Holmstrom, who had a goal in the first period. “That’s a big momentum change for us.”
Robert Lang and Williams scored 1:42 apart in the second period for the Red Wings, then Craig MacDonald had a goal 1½ minutes later to pull Chicago within a goal.
“It was a wide-open game and that can happen in the first game after a long road trip,” Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood said. “We just needed to grind out a win, and we did.”
The Red Wings improved to 20-1-1 when leading after two periods, and Osgood credited the team’s power play and penalty killing.
“Our special teams won the game,” Osgood said.
Detroit was 3-for-7 on the power play, and Chicago was 0-for-6, including a two-man advantage it wasted spanning the second and third periods.
“Those five-on-threes – you’ve got to have them,” Blackhawks coach Denis Savard said.
Chicago ranks last in the NHL in power-play scoring.
“We work on it every day,” forward Radim Vrbata said. “But, it’s not working.”
Osgood, who gave Dominik Hasek the night off, made 33 saves for his fifth win 10 games.
“I haven’t played at home all year, so it felt good to do that,” Osgood said. “And it felt good to play, period, because I haven’t played as much as I would’ve liked partly because of injuries.”
Holmstrom scored the Red Wings’ first goal and Kris Draper added an empty-net goal in the final minute for the Red Wings.
Nikolai Khabibulin made 26 saves for the Blackhawks, who have lost five straight.
“They have guys that can put the puck in the net and I made a couple of mistakes,” he said.
Brent Seabrook opened the scoring in the first period, giving Chicago a 1-0 lead 5:18 into the game.
Before the game, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm declared it “Steve Yzerman Day,” more than a week after Yzerman’s No. 19 jersey was retired.
Yzerman retired last summer after serving as captain for a league-record 20 seasons during his 22-season career, which was spent entirely with the Red Wings. He now works for the team as a vice president. He led Detroit to Stanley Cup championships in 1997, 1998 and 2002, and ranks sixth in the NHL with 1,755 career points.
The struggling Blackhawks got off to a good start in a tough place when Seabrook scored in the first. Chicago kept the lead for 10-plus minutes until Holmstrom scored.
“We didn’t play well at all or create a lot of chances,” Vrbata said.
Williams, who was recently benched, produced for hard-driving coach Mike Babcock with a go-ahead goal in the second and another score in the third period for his eighth and ninth goals. Both of his goals came on the power play.
“We sat him out a while ago and I think he’s really bounced back from it,” Babcock said.
Notes: Chicago F Martin Havlat (groin) played after missing the previous three games and being named an all-star reserve. … Red Wings D Mathieu Schneider (knee) missed his third straight game. … Detroit F Henrik Zetterberg will be an all-star reserve. Hasek was left off the Western Conference team, which chose to go with reserves Miikka Kiprusoff of Calgary and Dallas’ Marty Turco. “I’m disappointed,” said Hasek, who has an NHL-low 2.03 GAA. “I thought I was going to be there.”