DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings earned a spot in the franchise’s storied record books with a 14th straight win at home.
It wasn’t easy.
Todd Bertuzzi scored his second goal Saturday at 4:21 in overtime, lifting the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Detroit’s home winning streak equals the team mark set in 1965.
“Even though we’re in the thick of a tight race, it is something we can be proud of as a team,” defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom said. “This franchise hasn’t done this since the 1960s, so it says a lot that we’ve been able to do it.”
The Red Wings can break the record Monday night against Buffalo.
“It’s always good to have something to motivate you on any given night,” Lidstrom said.
The seven-time Norris Trophy winner was glad Detroit came out on top because his right skate helped send the game to overtime.
Chicago’s Jonathan Toews scored his 23rd goal with 51.7 seconds left in the third period, completing a sequence that started with a shot by Marian Hossa that went off Lidstrom.
The big play gave the Blackhawks a point that will keep them ahead of the Red Wings.
“Huge point,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.
The Blackhawks began the day atop the tightly contested Central Division—leading St. Louis by a point, Detroit by two points and Nashville by five—and had a chance to end it in third place behind the Blues and Red Wings until they extended the nationally televised matchup.
“It seems every time it’s always a Saturday against them at noon,” Bertuzzi said. “It seems to always create some good drama.”
The Red Wings looked as if they might roll toward an easy victory when Pavel Datsyuk assisted on two goals—scored by Tomas Holmstrom and Bertuzzi—and outshot Chicago 21-4 in the first period.
Jimmy Howard wasn’t fooled.
“You knew eventually they were going to start coming and pressing,” Howard said.
Howard made 25 saves to earn his NHL-high 26th win.
Corey Crawford had to make 40 saves to give the Blackhawks a shot to win.
After pulling Crawford for an extra skater, Chicago called timeout and scored the tying goal following a faceoff in the Detroit end.
Calgary is the last team to beat Detroit at Joe Louis Arena, winning 4-1 on Nov. 3.
“Always tough to come into this building and play that team,” said Hossa, a former Red Wing who is booed every time he has the puck at Detroit.
The Blackhawks have won just three of their last nine games.
Holmstrom, who hadn’t scored in his last eight games, put the Red Wings ahead midway through the first period. He was standing in front of the net and redirected a shot from Ian White on the game’s first power play.
Bertuzzi scored his first goal on a breakaway off an up-the-middle pass from Datsyuk, who will represent the Red Wings along with Howard at the all-star game in two weeks.
Howard helped Chicago score with 5:06 left in the second period when he couldn’t stop the puck behind his net, hitting it with the heel of his stick to set up rookie Andrew Shaw in front of the net.
Howard faced a flurry of shots in the third, including 11 in the first six-plus minutes of the period, and kept all of them out of the net to maintain the 2-1 lead.
The Blackhawks had a four-minute power play midway through the third after Drew Miller was sent off for high sticking. But they managed just two shots with the extra skater and caught iron on another attempt.
“It was huge for us,” Howard said.
NOTES: Detroit’s previous 14-game winning streak at home was from Jan. 21 through March 25, 1965. … Chicago’s Marcus Kruger played after missing seven games with a concussion. … Bertuzzi missed the previous game with back and groin ailments. … The Red Wings have won two of three against Chicago—winning 3-2 in OT twice and losing 3-2 in regulation—and they’ll play three moretimes in the regular season. … The 20-year-old Shaw has three goals in six games. … During the previous 13 wins at home, Datsyuk had 12 assists and 16 points. … Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and team president Tom Lewand attended the game.