DETROIT – The Chicago Blackhawks had a lot of fun and picked up two points.
Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp scored in the shootout to give Chicago a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.
Troy Brouwer, Sharp and Patrick Kane scored in regulation for Chicago, the top team in the Western Conference which has won eight of its last 10. Antti Niemi stopped 35 shots.
“It was a pretty entertaining game and those games are a lot of fun to play, especially when it’s on national TV (NBC),” Cane said. “You want to show the world how good this game is. It was a fun game to play in.”
It was a back-and-forth contest between the two storied rivals – both played Saturday – and Detroit rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to tie it. Sharp got the shootout winner in the fourth round.
“It was a mostly even game,” Hossa said. “It could have gone both ways and we got lucky and won.”
Hossa was booed each time he touched the puck in his second game at Joe Louis Arena since leaving Detroit to sign a 12-year, US$62-million contract with the Blackhawks. Howard stopped him on prime scoring chances three times and Hossa was wide on a 2-on-1 just before the five-minute overtime period ended.
Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Patrick Eaves scored for Detroit, which is ninth in the West – just short of the eighth and final playoff spot. Pavel Datsyuk had two assists and Jimmy Howard made 26 saves.
Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi scored for Detroit in the shootout. Both came on creative moves.
Datsyuk made a few moves and wound up to Niemi’s left then just flipped the puck toward the net, scoring off of Niemi’s arm. Bertuzzi’s turned completely around just before he got to the crease and put a backhand shot over Niemi.
“I thought overtime was pretty exciting,” Bertuzzi said. “It was end-to-end rushes, but we’ve still got to figure out a way to get two points. I still think we’re the team to beat.
“I think they’re a very good team. I think we match up well against them.”
“It’s one of those situations where I still think they’re the team to beat until proven otherwise in the playoffs,” he said. “They’ve proven that the last couple of years.”
It was Chicago’s third-straight regular season win over Detroit.
Eaves tied it 3-3 with 9:50 left in regulation on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle along the boards. It was Eaves’ sixth goal.
Sharp gave Chicago a 3-2 lead with 8:50 left in the second when he tipped in Duncan Keith’s pass for his 16th goal. Howard got a piece of the shot.
Zetterberg’s power-play goal 8:45 into the second tied the score 2-2. Zetterberg scored from the bottom of the left circle, shooting through Niemi’s legs for his 12th goal.
Brouwer opened the scoring 7:55 into the game when his shot from the top of the left circle went in off the inside of Howard’s pad. Brouwer’s 14th goal came off a rebound after Niemi stopped Justin Abdelkader and then Brad May on a two-on-none rush.
Kane’s power-play goal with 5:15 left in the opening period made it 2-0. His wrist shot from the high slot went in off of Howard.
Lidstrom put Detroit on the board with 48 seconds left in the first with his third goal. He beat Niemi from the bottom of the left circle. It was the Red Wings’ first goal against the Blackhawks in 148:36, dating to Oct. 8. Chicago shut out Detroit by 3-0 scores on Dec. 20, and again on Dec. 23.
NOTE: There were enough Blackhawks’ fans at the game for the cheer to be audible after a Chicago goal. … Two unusual combatants, Detroit’s Eaves and Chicago’s Kris Versteeg, fought with 42 seconds left in the first period and traded impressive punches. Eaves has eight penalty minutes this season and Versteeg 20. Eaves said it was carried over from the earlier games between the teams. … Chicago D Brent Sopel left the ice bent over and holding his left wrist or hand after colliding with Abdelkader, Niemi and the goal post about seven minutes into the third period. “Haven’t got the report,” Quenneville said after the game. “We’ll see how he is.”