Red Wings Sweep Hawks with Winter Classic Win
It was a good start to the New Year for the Detroit Red Wings who won their second straight and second in three days to complete a 2-0 weekly sweep of the second place Chicago Blackhawks.
After a 4-0 win on Tuesday, the Red Wings might have been primed for a let down but instead came out firing to secure a 6-4 win in front of more than 40,000 fans at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.
The Wings trailed after the first period thanks to a slew of penalty which Chicago capitalized on, scoring two power play goals. Kris Versteeg got the scoring going early in the period on an assist from Martin Havlat who finished with a goal and two assists. Havlat scored the second of the period to break 1-1 tie and Ben Eager made it 3-1 with less than a minute left in the period.
The second period was a different story as the Red Wings outscored The Hawks 3-0 to take the lead thanks to two goals by Jiri Hudler and another from Pavel Datsyuk.
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They put the game away in the third with goals from Brian Rafalski – who also added two assists – and Brett Lebda to make it 6-3.
Duncan Keith added a power play goal for the Hawks with only 10 seconds remaining to make the score a little more respectable.
Ty Conklin won his second outdoor game; he was with the Pittsburgh Penguins for their 2-1 victory over the Sabres last year in Buffalo.
Conklin made 33 saves to secure the win. "I count myself very lucky. There's not a guy in this league who wouldn't like to play in these games," Conklin said. "I've had the opportunity to play in three of them."
Chicago goalie Cristobal Huet was replaced in the third period by Nikolai Khabibulin after surrendering 6 goals. Khabibulin stopped all 13 shots he faced the rest of the period.
After falling behind early Detroit showed why they are the defending Stanley Cup Champions with a dominant second and third period, out shooting the Hawks 30-23 and outscoring them 5-1.
Nine players notched points for Detroit and four had three point games – Brian Rafalski who had a goal and two assists, Henrik Zetterberg who had three assists, Jiri Hudler who scored two goals and added an assist, and Marion Hossa who had three assists.
It was the fourth straight win over the Blackhawks for Detroit who has won every meeting this year and now leads the Central division by 8 points.
"They are the best team in the world. They are a team that can just take over when they want to," Chicago's Patrick Kane told the Associated Press.
ProHockey-fans.com Detroit Red Wings Correspondent