On paper the Red Wings, riding a franchise-tying record of 9 straight wins, looked like an easy bet to pick off the rebuilding Blackhawks.
Thankfully, nobody told Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane this.
The Red Wings have arguably the best bluelines in the league and a dangerous offense that can explode at any moment. The Blackhawks riding a two-game winning streak and having lost one of the last 5 games were riding as high as ever.
With Havlat re-injuring his shoulder early in the season, the Blackhawks have needed big performances from their young team, which is something they've been getting for most of the season, thanks to Toews and Kane. Tonight was no different!
Everyone knew that it would be a low scoring game. The 'Wings havea solid defense and the Blackhawks have the "Berlin Wall," Nikolai Khabibulin.
The Blackhawks held off an early attack in the 1st period, and tallied an even strength goal by Yanick Perreault. Less then 3 minutes later while on the Power Play, Patrick Kane slapped his 7th goal of the season past Chris Osgood.
After Jiri Hurdler scored to bring the Red Wings to within one, the team looked to tie the game up. However, Patrick Sharp and Tomas Kopecky went toe-to-toe and 30 seconds later Brian Rafalski took a hooking penalty, seemingly turning the momentum back on Chicago's side.
Having already scored once on the power play following a hooking call on Lidstrom, the Blackhawks knew they had to score again! Samson, Williams, and Kane put together a great passing play when Toews sealed the coffin, hammering a 25 footer over the shoulder of Osgood to put the 'Hawks up by two.
Lidstrom managed to pepper one home past Khabibulin just as Tuomo Ruutu's slashing penalty had expired midway through the 3rd-too little too late. The Blackhawks defense and solid effort from Khabibulin was the difference as the Blackhawks closed the door for their 3rd straight win in a row, and 3rd straight against the Red Wings.
The Blackhawks head out to Columbus to begin a 6 game road swing, while the Red Wings head to St. Louis.
Side notes: This is the first home game televised through local TV stations for the Blackhawks in many, many years. Henrick Zetterberg is currently riding a 17 game point streak which is a Franchise record.
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