Kirk Maltby seemed to be making up for lost time.
The left-winger, who woke up this morning with no goals yet this season, scored two tonight. Maltby’s two goals were instrumental in helping the Red Wings hold off a third period rally by the injury-depleted Chicago Blackhawks and gain a 4-3 overtime win.
The Blackhawks, many of them rookies filling in due to injuries to key players, definitely earned the one point for their overtime loss. They came out playing hard, and were rewarded with an early goal. The goal came with Brendan Shanahan in the penalty box for high-sticking. Bryan Berard shot the puck from the right point. Igor Radulov deflected it, then it deflected again off Chris Chelios before getting past Dominik Hasek for the goal at 3:34.
Brett Hull answered with a goal as soon as Detroit got a power play chance of their own. Ray Whitney scooped the puck out from behind the net to Pavel Datsyuk waiting near the bottom of the right circle. Datsyuk passed the puck backwards without looking right to where Hull was ready with his classic one-timer. Rookie goalie Craig Anderson never had a chance.
Anderson kept his team in the game with a great save against Whitney on another Detroit power play early in the second period. Nick Lidstrom made a quick pass, and Whitney took a very quick shot, but Anderson was able to slide across the crease in time.
Maltby gave the Red Wings the lead with a shorthanded goal with 4:15 left in the second. Darryl Bootland had been sent to the box for high-sticking. Detroit stole the puck and Kris Draper brought it deep into the Chicago zone. He delayed long enough for Maltby to gain position in front of the net, then sent the puck across the crease. Maltby was easily able to flip the puck over Anderson.
Maltby increased the lead early in the third period. He carried the puck into the zone, then took a harmless-looking shot towards the net from just inside the blue line. The puck went off of Anderson’s left elbow and up under the crossbar.
Just as the game was starting to seem over, the Blackhawks scored two quick goals to force the overtime period. First Travis Moen scored by driving to the net and banging home the rebound from Nathan Dempsey’s shot at 11:59. Then Radulov got his second of the night by fishing the puck out of the corner and taking a tight angle shot which beat Hasek at 13:05.
The Blackhawks made their critical error with just 9.5 seconds left in regulation time. Brett McLean tripped up Steve Yzerman and was caught by the referees, giving the Red Wings a 4-on-3 power play with which to start overtime.
Detroit took their time with the power play, moving the puck carefully and not giving Chicago any chance to send the puck down the ice. Finally, Shanahan one-timed a pass from Lidstrom from near the top of the left circle. Anderson was screened by Yzerman, and the puck sailed into the net. Chicago led the shot count, 31-26. The Red Wings will finish up their road trip Saturday evening against the Minnesota Wild.