The Red Wings’ December scoring drought continues, leading them to be defeated by the Chicago Blackhawks, 2-0.
Chicago opened the scoring 2:49 into the game. Alexei Zhamnov stepped out of the penalty box after serving his two minutes for interference, picked off a Steve Yzerman pass in neutral ice, and faked out Manny Legace for the goal.
The Red Wings showed a lack of energy throughout the first period, not scoring in spite of three power play chances.
They came out more strongly in the second period, showing signs and spurts of lively play. In fact, during a hooking penalty to Igor Larionov midway through the period, the Red Wings had more shots on goal than did the Blackhawks. The Detroit defense was able to keep Chicago from scoring again, but they were unable to get the puck past Jocelyn Thibault to score a goal of their own.
The sporadic bursts of energy continued into the third period, but were not enough to get the job done. Mark Bell clinched the game for the Blackhawks 1:56 into the third by taking a cross-ice pass from Jaroslav Spacek and firing hard from the right wing side to get the puck past Legace.
The Detroit bench pulled Legace in favor of the extra skater with 1:40 left to play, but Thibault would let no shots through, and the Red Wings were shut out two games in a row for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
Legace made many strong saves during the course of the game, stopping 35 of 37 shots. This was his first loss of the year 2001, ending his unbeaten streak at nineteen games. Thibault was able to stop all 28 of the shots he faced.
The Red Wings will play again on Wednesday night, when the Vancouver Canucks come to Joe Louis Arena.