for this game

Red Wings storm past Blackhawks in Winter Classic

Jan 2, 2009 - 3:18 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Much like Wrigley Field's permanent residents, the Chicago Blackhawks were not kind to the baseball stadium's faithful fans.

Jiri Hudler registered two goals and an assist and Pavel Datsyuk snapped a tie late in the second period as the Detroit Red Wings erased a two-goal deficit with five unanswered tallies en route to a 6-4 triumph over the Blackhawks at the home of Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs in the 2009 Winter Classic on Thursday.

"You want to win this game because 10 years from now, when they ask you who won the Winter Classic, you get to say, 'We did,'" Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "It was fantastic - the whole atmosphere and the crowd and the professionalism."

Mikael Samuelsson and defensemen Brian Rafalski and Brett Lebda also scored for Detroit, which improved to 4-0-0 against Chicago this season.

Rafalski added a pair of assists, Henrik Zetterberg and Marian Hossa notched three apiece and Ty Conklin made 33 saves for the Red Wings, who have won five of seven.

"We did what we've been doing a lot this year - coming from behind," Conklin said.

Conklin has started all three regular-season outdoor games in NHL history. The 32-year-old native of Anchorage, Alaska took the loss when the Montreal Canadiens edged the Oilers, 4-3, in the Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on November 22, 2003 but posted the victory when the Pittsburgh Penguins topped the Sabres, 2-1, in a shootout at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo in the 2008 Winter Classic last January 1.

The goaltender, among others, was impressed with the condition of the ice surface at the legendary ballpark.

"The ice was in as good a shape as any of (the outdoor games)," he said. "It was a good atmosphere. It's a perfect day for this, no glare. The ice was as good as you could hope for in a baseball stadium."

"The ice was really good," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. "It was probably better than it is in some of our rinks. ... We had more time (to prepare) than we did last year in Buffalo. Being in a baseball stadium gives us an advantage of more time and, with the benefit of more time, we were able to do a much better job constructing the rink."

Martin Havlat recorded a goal and two assists, Kris Versteeg netted a tally and set up another and Ben Eager and blue-liner Duncan Keith also scored for the Blackhawks, who fell to 10-2-1 over their last 13 games. All three losses have come at the hands of the Red Wings.

"It was pretty disappointing," Chicago's Patrick Sharp said. "It's unfortunate that the game ended the way it did, but they're defending Stanley Cup champions for a reason. And there's a reason why they won that game."

"They're the best in the world. That's what they proved tonight," Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane added. "I think they're a team that can just take over when they want to. They have so much experience and so many great players that it just seems like they can go on whenever they want and take over."

With a game-time temperature of 31.9 degrees, Chicago gave the fans at Wrigley plenty to cheer about in the opening period, converting two power-play chances on the way to building a 3-1 lead.

During an early man advantage, Versteeg grabbed the rebound of Havlat's shot and beat Conklin from the low slot at 3:24 for a 1-0 lead. Samuelsson knotted the contest less than seven minutes later with a power-play tally of his own, but with 7:23 remaining, Versteeg made a backhand pass from behind the net to Havlat, who scored from the doorstep with Lebda watching from the penalty box.

"It felt pretty good at the time," said Versteeg about picking up the game's first goal. "I didn't go into the game thinking about doing that or scoring the first goal ever here. I wanted to win but it was a very special experience being here."

The 22-year-old Versteeg leads all NHL rookies with 31 points in 34 games.

Eager doubled the Blackhawks' lead with 42 seconds left in the first. After battling defenseman Andreas Lilja behind the net, Eager walked out and deposited the puck into the net from near the right goalpost as Conklin was moving the other way.

That was all the crowd of 40,818 had to celebrate, however, as Detroit erupted for three goals in the second session and never looked back.

"We talked about doing what we're supposed to do," Babcock said. "We didn't think we did it in the first period. ... We've got a good hockey team, as you know, experienced group that don't get rattled very easily."

Hudler began the outburst just 74 seconds into the period, digging the puck out of a crowd in front of the net and sliding it around goaltender Cristobal Huet for his 100th career point.

"I thought the second goal of the game (for Detroit) was a tough goal," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "Looked like we had the puck in the neutral zone. The next thing you know, it's in our net, 3-2. They got a lot of life off of that."

The Czech completed his third two-goal performance of the season with 7:17 to go in the second, tapping in a loose puck on his second attempt from the right side of the crease for his 15th of the campaign.

"He's a sneaky little guy," Babcock said of Hudler. "Real talented. The puck follows him around. That's what good players do. He's like Kane that way. He's not as dynamic a skater, but the puck just follows these guys around because their hockey sense is so good."

Datsyuk put the Red Wings ahead for good with 2:43 remaining with a brilliant individual effort.

"It's a weird game, we were down 3-1 after the first," Hudler said. "But we didn't panic because we thought we played OK, so we worked hard and came back over the last two periods."

After receiving a pass from Daniel Cleary at center ice, Datsyuk skated between defensemen Brian Campbell and Cam Barker before sliding a backhander between Huet's pads for a 4-3 edge. The tally extended the Russian's goal-scoring streak to three games and points streak to nine contests.

"I think we started playing with better tempo in that second period," said Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with an ankle injury. "We had our third guy high and created a lot of turnovers in the neutral zone and went the other way real fast. That's something we wanted to do. ... I thought that brought the tempo up and the speed in our game, and I think it pushed them back a little, too."

Detroit, which ended Chicago's franchise-record nine-game winning streak with a 4-0 victory at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday in the opener of the "Original Six" teams' home-and-home series, continued to pour it on in the third with a pair of early goals.

"It's tough that we came out with the lead and they just kept coming at us," Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said. "They're so consistent. They've got four lines of guys that play the right way."

During a power play, Rafalski slipped a backhander between the pads of Huet from the right side at 3:07. Just 17 seconds later, Lebda - a native of Buffalo Grove, Illinois - unleashed a wrist shot from the top of the slot that hit a body in front and sneaked under the crossbar.

"I wish I would have known it went in right away. I would have changed my celebration a little bit," Lebda said. "But you can't be picky, and I'm just glad we got the two points."

Zetterberg recorded his 200th career assist - and third of the game - on the play.

Despite scoring a goal, Lebda was more excited about getting the chance to play on the field of his favorite baseball team.

"I loved the Cubs, grew up on the Cubs and still go to a lot of games during the summer," Lebda said. "Coming out of that dugout and seeing the sight, it was pretty cool. You're usually on the other side of the fence there, sitting in the stands. Just to be out there and playing in a hockey game in Wrigley Field was a pretty neat experience."

Lebda's tally, which was upheld following video review, ended the afternoon for Huet, who made 24 saves. Nikolai Khabibulin came on and turned aside all 13 shots he faced.

Keith converted a power-play chance with 10 seconds left in the contest to provide the final margin.

Prior to the start of the game, Blackhawks legends Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Tony Esposito and Denis Savard - along with former Cubs greats Ryne Sandberg, Ferguson Jenkins and Billy Williams - were saluted on the rink. The group later continued a Wrigley Field tradition by singing a version of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" geared toward hockey.

Following the contest, the teams exchanged handshakes, a procedure normally reserved for the end of Stanley Cup playoff series.






  • 40
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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Red Wings 6, Blackhawks 4  FinalJan 2 7:39 AM
  • 35
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    SuketoKetchi Added 5 roots

    Red Wings 6, Blackhawks 4  FinalJan 1 5:13 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 1 3 2 6
    CHICAGO 3 0 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) KRIS VERSTEEG 11 (MARTIN HAVLAT, BRENT SEABROOK)
    3:24
    DET - (PP) MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 8 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG, MARIAN
    HOSSA) 9:50
    CHI - (PP) MARTIN HAVLAT 10 (KRIS VERSTEEG, BRIAN CAMPBELL)
    12:37
    CHI - BEN EAG

    Jan 1 4:09 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 6
    CHICAGO 4
    3RD PRD: CHI - (PP) DUNCAN KEITH 5 (UNASSISTED) 19:50

    Red Wings 6, Blackhawks 4  3rd - 0:10Jan 1 4:07 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 6
    CHICAGO 3
    3RD PRD: DET - BRETT LEBDA 3 (UNASSISTED) 3:24

    Red Wings 6, Blackhawks 3  3rd - 16:36Jan 1 3:39 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 5
    CHICAGO 3
    3RD PRD: DET - (PP) BRIAN RAFALSKI 5 (TOMAS HOLMSTROM) 3:07

    Red Wings 5, Blackhawks 3  3rd - 16:53Jan 1 3:38 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 1 3 4
    CHICAGO 3 0 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) KRIS VERSTEEG 11 (MARTIN HAVLAT, BRENT SEABROOK)
    3:24
    DET - (PP) MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 8 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG, MARIAN
    HOSSA) 9:50
    CHI - (PP) MARTIN HAVLAT 10 (KRIS VERSTEEG, BRIAN CAMPBELL)
    12:37


    Jan 1 3:07 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 4
    CHICAGO 3
    2ND PRD: DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 16 (JOHAN FRANZEN, BRIAN RAFALSKI) 17:17

    Red Wings 4, Blackhawks 3  2nd - 2:43Jan 1 3:06 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 3
    CHICAGO 3
    2ND PRD: DET - JIRI HUDLER 15 (BRIAN RAFALSKI, NICKLAS LIDSTROM) 12:43

    Red Wings 3, Blackhawks 3  2nd - 7:17Jan 1 2:57 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 2
    CHICAGO 3
    2ND PRD: DET - JIRI HUDLER 14 (MARIAN HOSSA, HENRIK ZETTERBERG) 1:14

    Red Wings 2, Blackhawks 3  2nd - 18:46Jan 1 2:36 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 1 1
    CHICAGO 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) KRIS VERSTEEG 11 (MARTIN HAVLAT) 3:24
    DET - (PP) MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 8 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG, MARIAN
    HOSSA) 9:50
    CHI - (PP) MARTIN HAVLAT 10 (KRIS VERSTEEG, BRIAN CAMPBELL)
    12:37
    CHI - BEN EAGER 7

    Jan 1 2:12 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 1
    CHICAGO 3
    1ST PRD: CHI - BEN EAGER 7 (MARTIN HAVLAT) 19:18

    Red Wings 1, Blackhawks 3  1st - 0:42Jan 1 2:12 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 1
    CHICAGO 2
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) MARTIN HAVLAT 10 (KRIS VERSTEEG, BRIAN CAMPBELL)
    12:37

    Red Wings 1, Blackhawks 2  1st - 7:23Jan 1 2:02 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 1
    CHICAGO 1
    1ST PRD: DET - (PP) MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 8 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG, MARIAN
    HOSSA) 9:50

    Red Wings 1, Blackhawks 1  1st - 10:10Jan 1 1:57 PM
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    thaelmann Added 5 roots

    Red Wings 0, Blackhawks 1  1st - 16:36Jan 1 1:56 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 0
    CHICAGO 1
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) KRIS VERSTEEG 11 (MARTIN HAVLAT) 3:24

    Red Wings 0, Blackhawks 1  1st - 16:36Jan 1 1:43 PM
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