The Detroit Red Wings scored three times in the third period Wednesday night, with those goals carrying them to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in the first of three matchups in nine days between the Original Six rivals.
With the teams tied at a goal each entering the third, Pavel Datsyuk put the Red Wings out in front at 9:17.
The Blackhawks won a draw in the Detroit zone on the power play but Datsyuk jumped up to the blueline to steal the puck from defenseman Adrian Aucoin. He carried it the length of the ice virtually untouched before faking out goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and slipping it past him.
Chicago would respond just 1:29 later, while still on the power play, when a shot by Bryan Smolinski from the bottom of the right circle bounced off Mathieu Schneider and then twice off netminder Dominik Hasek and into the net.
Henrik Zetterberg scored his first of two goals to get Detroit back in the lead with 6:22 remaining in regulation. On a delayed call, Datsyuk sent a pass from the top of the right circle onto Zetterberg’s stick at the edge of crease, where it was poked into the net. The pass had been deflected by Aucoin but he never had possession of the puck to draw a whistle.
Aucoin would factor into the final Wings goal as well, giving up the puck to Zetterberg in the Chicago zone with the net empty, leaving him able to skate into the vacant crease for the game’s final goal.
Chicago had gotten on the board first when Duncan Keith chipped a shot to the front of the net and Radim Vrbata banged it past Hasek at 6:24 of the first.
Kris Draper replied for the Red Wings at 6:34 of the second, sneaking a hard shot from the bottom of the left circle past Khabibulin.
The Red Wings scored on a delayed penalty but were without a goal on four power plays. Chicago scored on one of their chances with the man-advantage.
Hasek stopped 26 of 28 shots in earning the win while Khabibulin made 31 saves on 34 shots against.
The Red Wings moved back into first place in the Western Conference with the win, leapfrogging over the idle Nashville Predators by using their game-in-hand. The Predators will host the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday and the Red Wings will host the Edmonton Oilers on Friday before the two teams meet for the first of five remaining matchups on Saturday.
The win was Detroit’s 13th-straight at Joe Louis Arena, one shy of tying the team record of 14 wins in a row at home.