for this game

Red Wings win fourth straight behind Datsyuk

Mar 12, 2008 - 3:35 AM
DETROIT (Ticker) -- The Detroit Red Wings appear to be back on track.

All-Star Pavel Datsyuk snapped a tie late in the second period and Johan Franzen extended his goal-scoring streak to four games as the Red Wings posted their fourth straight victory, a 3-1 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

Kirk Maltby also scored and Chris Osgood made 19 saves for Detroit (46-18-6), which moved nine points ahead of idle Dallas (42-25-5) for first place in the Western Conference.

More importantly, the Red Wings seem to have righted the ship after going 1-8-2 from February 7-29.

"We played a lot better for 60 minutes," Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "Going into the third period with the lead, we wanted to play a sound defensive period, and we did that. We kept them on the outside more and didn't give them too many scoring chances."

The game also marked the return of defenseman Chris Chelios, who had missed the previous six with a leg injury. The former Blackhawk was the last of several Detroit blue-liners to come back from various ailments, as Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronwall and Lidstrom also recently returned to the lineup.

"I've got eight D now," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I'm in a situation where I know who my top four are going to be every night. Right now, (Derek) Meech is the odd man out, and I've got three guys battling for two spots."

Right wing Dallas Drake credited the return of Rafalski and Lidstrom for helping turn around the Red Wings' fortunes.

"Their transition game is scary," Drake said. "It's one pass and away you go. The puck's on your tape and you're creating chances from there rather than digging it off the boards and trying to chip it out and chase it down."

Appearing in his 1,000th NHL game, Drake stole the puck from Chicago defenseman Jordan Hendry behind the net on the left side before dishing to Maltby. From the right faceoff circle, Malty unleashed a one-timer that hit goaltender Corey Crawford and barely trickled across the goal line at 8:34 of the first period for a 1-0 lead.

"The guy (Hendry) fell down and I had lots of time behind the net," Drake said. "Malts did a great job of coming all the way across the crease. He was wide open and he made a great shot. It was a combination of a number of things that made it go in."

The assist was the 300th of Drake's career.

The advantage was short-lived, however, as the Blackhawks answered just over two minutes later. A shot from the left point hit a pile of bodies in front, sending the puck to Rene Bourque, who beat Osgood from the right circle at 10:43 for his ninth goal of the season.

Osgood came up huge midway through the second against former Red Wings teammate Robert Lang, who failed to convert on a penalty shot.

"I had a pretty good idea of what Langer would do," Osgood said. "He's not a big deke guy. He didn't have enough speed going to deke. I knew he liked to shoot glove side. I wasn't cheating, but I tried to stay out as long as I could to force him to shoot."

"I thought that was huge," Babcock said. "It's at a point in the game where we've been dominating, and yet here's a chance for them to go up 2-1. That was a big save for Ozzie at a very important part of the game."

That save proved crucial as Datsyuk gave Detroit a 2-1 edge with 4:08 remaining in the period, beating Crawford to the stick side with a wrist shot from the top of the slot for his 26th tally.

Franzen sealed the win with an empty-netter with 49 seconds remaining in the third.

"We had a tough time dealing with their speed," Blackhawks coach Denis Savard said.

Crawford came up with a superb effort, turning aside 44 shots for Chicago (33-30-7), which remained seven points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.

"I was just trying to not challenge too much and get too far out (of the crease)," Crawford said. "Give myself a chance if they go back door and do that fancy stuff. I don't think they got too many rebound chances. The guys did a good job boxing out and getting the rebounds out of there. I just focused on the next shot, the next play."

"He played awesome," Bourque said. "He gave us a chance to win."

The Blackhawks fell to 4-2-0 against the Red Wings this season.

"They play us hard," Maltby said. "For whatever reason, we match up well against these guys and it's always a battle right to the end. They're fighting for their playoff (lives), and if they get in, there's a possibility they could be a first-round matchup for us, so it was important we played a good game."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 1 0 0 1
    DETROIT 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - KIRK MALTBY 5 (DALLAS DRAKE) 8:34
    CHI - RENE BOURQUE 9 (CAM BARKER, DAVE BOLLAND) 10:43
    2ND PRD: DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 26 (JIRI HUDLER) 15:52
    3RD PRD: DET - (EN) JOHAN FRANZEN 17 (UNASSISTED) 19:11
    POWER-PLAY CONV

    Mar 11 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    DETROIT 3
    3RD PRD: DET - (EN) JOHAN FRANZEN 17 (UNASSISTED) 19:11

    Blackhawks 1, Red Wings 3  3rd - 0:49Mar 11 9:59 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 1 0 1
    DETROIT 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - KIRK MALTBY 5 (DALLAS DRAKE) 8:34
    CHI - RENE BOURQUE 9 (CAM BARKER, DAVE BOLLAND) 10:43
    2ND PRD: DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 26 (JIRI HUDLER) 15:52
    MISSED PENALTY SHOTS: CHI - ROBERT LANG, 10:00 2ND.
    SHOTS

    Mar 11 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    DETROIT 2
    2ND PRD: DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 26 (JIRI HUDLER) 15:52

    Blackhawks 1, Red Wings 2  2nd - 4:08Mar 11 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 1 1
    DETROIT 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - KIRK MALTBY 5 (DALLAS DRAKE) 8:34
    CHI - RENE BOURQUE 9 (CAM BARKER, DAVE BOLLAND) 10:43
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHI 5 5
    DET 13

    Mar 11 8:17 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    DETROIT 1
    1ST PRD: CHI - RENE BOURQUE 9 (CAM BARKER) 10:43

    Blackhawks 1, Red Wings 1  1st - 9:17Mar 11 7:58 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 0
    DETROIT 1
    1ST PRD: DET - KIRK MALTBY 5 (DALLAS DRAKE) 8:34

    Blackhawks 0, Red Wings 1  1st - 11:26Mar 11 7:54 PM