Blackhawks end struggles against Red Wings in shootoutApr 6, 2007 - 8:59 AM
Sharp scored in the decisive goal in the fourth round of the shootout as the Blackhawks snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Red Wings with a 3-2 victory.
Jason Williams also scored in the shootout for Chicago, whose losing streak against Detroit dated back to March 2006.
"It feels great," Sharp said about ending the slide against the Red Wings. "The playoffs are out of reach but we haven't stopped trying."
Blackhawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin finished with a season-high 56 saves and turned away three of four attempts in the shootout.
"The guys did a great job of letting me see the puck," Khabibulin said. "We did good on rebounds, clearing them away."
"Khabby (Khabibulin) deserved the win the way he played," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "He really held us in there."
Facing that volume of shots proved to be quite taxing on Khabibulin, who actually lost more than 10 pounds in body weight.
"I always lose a lot of water, maybe the building was just a little warm," he said.
Despite giving up the tying power-play goal to Kyle Calder midway through the third period, Khabibulin finished with 22 saves in the stanza and stopped all five shots that he faced in overtime to set up the shootout.
"We would have rather won in regulation but if it has to be overtime or the shootout we will take it," Khabibulin said.
In the sudden-death session, Khabibulin gave up a goal on the opening attempt to the Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk before settling down to stop the next three.
Meanwhile, Sharp collected the Blackhawks' second goal of the shootout when his wrister deflected off netminder Chris Osgood and went in.
"I had a move in mind, but Jason Vrbata and Jason Williams told me Osgood was staying in the net, so the shot was the best bet," Sharp said. "So, I just shot as hard as I could."
"The puck hit my arm pretty hard," Osgood said. "I couldn't believe it went in. It just skidded off me. Typical shootout; we love them when we win, we hate them when we lose."
Chicago stormed out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period behind goals from Nikita Alexeev and rookie Bryan Bickell, who was making his NHL debut.
Detroit, which needed just one point to clinch the Central Division title and two to secure the top seed in the Western Conference, cut the deficit to 2-1 on a goal by Tomas Holmstrom with 40 seconds left in the middle stanza.
"It is good for us," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I thought our team played hard. I thought we carried the play, their goalie really earned his $7 million or whatever he makes."
Osgood finished with 19 saves for the Red Wings, who host the Blackhawks in the season finale on Saturday.
- DETROIT: 2
Final - 2OT
Apr 5 11:16 PM
0 1 1 0 (1) --2
Chicago 1 1 0 0 (2) --3
FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Chicago, Nikita Alexeev 12 (Denis Arkhipov,
Martin Lapointe),5:03. Penalties: D Keith
Red Wings vs. BlackhawksApr 5 11:16 PM
CHICAGO 2 7:54 LEFT, 2ND PRD
Red Wings vs. BlackhawksApr 5 9:47 PM
- DETROIT: 0
End of 1st
Apr 5 9:10 PM
1ST PRD: CHI - NIKITA ALEXEEV 12 (DENIS ARKHIPOV, MARTIN LAPOINTE)
Red Wings vs. BlackhawksApr 5 8:45 PM
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