for this game

Byfuglien nets Blackhawks franchise-best ninth straight win

Dec 29, 2008 - 2:29 AM
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Dustin Byfuglien helped the Chicago Blackhawks continue a franchise-record winning streak. Unfortunately for the Minnesota Wild, he also added to their recent run as well.

Byfuglien recorded two goals and two assists as the Blackhawks posted their ninth consecutive victory with a 4-1 triumph over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. The streak ties them with the San Jose Sharks for the longest in the NHL this season.

"It's good to be part of making history, and we're not done yet," Byfuglien said. "We're going to keep going and bring this on as long as we can."

Martin Havlat scored his ninth of the season and Kris Versteeg had a goal and two assists. Cristobal Huet added 18 saves for Chicago, which now faces Central Division leader Detroit in a back-to-back situation, including Thursday's Winter Classic at Wrigley Field.

"We just need to keep getting better," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "It's not about winning streaks. It's not about the history, I guess. Obviously, we have some big games coming up."

Rookie Cal Clutterbuck scored and Niklas Backstrom finished with 28 saves for Minnesota, which fell to 2-7-1 in its last 10 games. The Wild are 0-6-1 against the Western Conference during the stretch.

"I know some of the guys didn't play like we expect, and that I don't know why," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "It's not because we didn't talk about Chicago. It's the best team right now, everyone knows that. If you don't know it, you don't follow hockey - and I don't think you should play."

Minnesota was even booed off the home ice after a lackluster first period, an all-too-often occurrence for the Wild. Minnesota has allowed its opponent to score the first goal in a franchise-record 10 straight games. Meanwhile, the Wild have just two first-period tallies in their last 11 games.

Byfuglien, a Minnesota native, collected a loose puck on a scramble in front of Backstrom for his first goal of the game 7:14 into the opening period. With players crashing around Backstrom, Toews centered the puck from behind the net and Byfuglien was able to get a stick on the loose puck and slide it past a sprawling Backstrom.

The Wild were outshot 15-4 in the first period and 27-10 in the first two periods.

"We're going to have to give them credit, nine wins in a row shows something about the team," Minnesota's Mikko Koivu said. "But, they are not that good. They outworked us tonight, that is obvious.

"We had one good player tonight and that was Backstrom, who had the effort to play this game tonight. If that doesn't change, there is something wrong inside of the team. In every player in this room, except for the goalie, it's not going to work like that."

Byfuglien's second of the game and seventh of the season came on the first power play of the game as he redirected defenseman Duncan Keith's shot from the point past Backstrom's right side.

"Every guy in here wants to set new records and be a part of it," Byfuglien said. "That's what we're doing. We're just working together, having fun. If we start getting down, someone will crack a joke and we'll get back at it and start having fun again."

Havlat made it a 3-0 game just over 14 minutes into the second, sneaking a shot past Backstrom from the slot.

The Wild, typically strong on the home ice, were again booed at the end of the second period, but Clutterbuck's fourth tally of the season put Minnesota on the board early in the second.

The rookie accepted a feed from Stephane Veilleux and beat Huet high with a sizzling wrist shot 2:47 into the third.

Versteeg finished the scoring with an empty-netter with two seconds left.

"We had a good team last year and we came up just shy of the playoffs," Toews said. "It just shows how far we've come since last season. We're happy about it, but the season is not over. We can't sit on our laurels right now, as they say. We're happy about it, but we're going to keep getting better."

In the meantime, Chicago has certainly done its part to set up a prime matchup for the Winter Classic. Detroit leads the Central Division with 51 points. The Blackhawks franchise-record streak has given them 47 points.

"It's a big win for us, a special achievement for the whole group," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "They should be proud. We did a lot of good things on this stretch, and now we have a chance to play one of the best, or I think the best. It should be exciting."






  • 15
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Blackhawks 4, Wild 1  FinalDec 29 5:17 AM


  • CORRECTION
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 2 1 1 4
    MINNESOTA 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 6 (JONATHAN TOEWS, KRIS VERSTEEG)
    7:14
    CHI - (PP) DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 7 (KRIS VERSTEEG, DUNCAN KEITH)
    9:38
    2ND PRD: CHI - MARTIN HAVLAT 9 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN)
    14:08
    3R

    Dec 28 8:26 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 4
    MINNESOTA 1
    3RD PRD: CHI - (EN) KRIS VERSTEEG 10 (JONATHAN TOEWS, DUSTIN
    BYFUGLIEN) 19:58

    Blackhawks 4, Wild 1  End of Reg.Dec 28 8:25 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 2 1 0 3
    MINNESOTA 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 6 (JONATHAN TOEWS, KRIS VERSTEEG)
    7:14
    CHI - (PP) DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 7 (KRIS VERSTEEG, DUNCAN KEITH)
    9:38
    2ND PRD: CHI - MARTIN HAVLAT 9 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN)
    14:08
    3RD PRD: MIN -

    Dec 28 8:25 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 3
    MINNESOTA 1
    3RD PRD: MIN - CAL CLUTTERBUCK 4 (STEPHANE VEILLEUX, MARTIN SKOULA)
    2:47

    Blackhawks 3, Wild 1  3rd - 17:13Dec 28 7:54 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 2 1 3
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 6 (JONATHAN TOEWS, KRIS VERSTEEG)
    7:14
    CHI - (PP) DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 7 (DUNCAN KEITH, BRENT SEABROOK)
    9:38
    2ND PRD: CHI - MARTIN HAVLAT 9 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN)
    14:08
    SH

    Dec 28 7:32 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 3
    MINNESOTA 0
    2ND PRD: CHI - MARTIN HAVLAT 9 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN)
    14:08

    Blackhawks 3, Wild 0  2nd - 5:52Dec 28 7:22 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 2 2
    MINNESOTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 6 (JONATHAN TOEWS, KRIS VERSTEEG)
    7:14
    CHI - (PP) DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 7 (DUNCAN KEITH, BRENT SEABROOK)
    9:38
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHI 15

    Dec 28 6:41 PM
  • 10
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Blackhawks 2, Wild 0  1st - 3:20Dec 28 6:37 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 2
    MINNESOTA 0
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 7 (DUNCAN KEITH, BRENT SEABROOK)
    9:38

    Blackhawks 2, Wild 0  1st - 10:22Dec 28 6:26 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    MINNESOTA 0
    1ST PRD: CHI - DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 6 (JONATHAN TOEWS, KRIS VERSTEEG) 7:14

    Blackhawks 1, Wild 0  1st - 12:46Dec 28 6:21 PM