Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom scored his 200th career goal on Friday night, part of a 6-2 Detroit win over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.
Lidstrom’s goal, Detroit’s fifth of the night, was his first in the last 17 games.
With the Red Wings skating on a five-on-three and the game seemingly already in hand, Lidstrom’s blast from the high slot beat goalie Nikolai Khabibulin just 40 seconds into the third period, giving Detroit a 5-1 lead.
Chicago’s goals sandwiched the Lidstrom tally. Both were scored by former Red Wing Jason Williams, who was traded to the Blackhawks on Monday for Kyle Calder and was making his first appearance at Joe Louis Arena since the deal.
With 8:45 remaining in the second, Williams intercepted a Mathieu Schneider pass at the Chicago blue line while killing a penalty and broke in all alone on Detroit netminder Chris Osgood. Osgood covered the bottom of the net but Williams went high over his glove to get the Blackhawks on the board.
Just 2:06 after the Lidstrom goal, Williams scored a power play goal on a blast from the top of the right circle.
Before Williams got Chicago’s scoring started, the Red Wings scored four times on starting goaltender Patrick Lalime.
Robert Lang ended his scoring slump at 6:15 of the first period, scoring just after the end of a five-on-three with a shot from the left circle that bounced off defenseman Duncan Keith before hitting the inside of Lalime’s leg and sliding into the net.
With just under four seconds remaining in the period, a beautiful passing play set up Mathieu Schneider’s goal while the teams skated four aside. Pavel Datsyuk carried the puck into the zone along the right wing before pushing it over to Niklas Kronwall, who passed down to Lang at the bottom of the left circle. Lang moved it back out into the high slot for Schneider, who rocketed a shot into the top of the net over a fallen Lalime.
At 7:28 of the second period, rookie Valtteri Filppula – playing on the team’s top line in place of the injured Henrik Zetterberg – extended the Detroit lead. Datsyuk stole the puck in the left circle of the Chicago zone and crossed it to Filppula at the far side of the net to punch in off of Lalime.
Datsyuk would assist again just 1:45 later, sending a long outlet pass from the Detroit zone to Jiri Hudler at the Chicago blue line. Hudler beat Lalime one-on-one, ending the goalie’s night early.
After Williams and Lidstrom scored, Johan Franzen finished the game’s scoring with 9:10 remaining on a shot from the slot. Lang’s assist on the goal marked his fourth point of the night.
The Red Wings finished the night 2-for-9 on the power play, including two five-on-three chances and one shorthanded goal allowed. Chicago scored on one of their five power play attempts.
Osgood made 17 saves on 19 shots against. Lalime stopped 14 of the 18 shots he faced before being replaced by Khabibulin, who stopped 17 of 19.
The win pulls Detroit back even with the Nashville Predators for the top spot in the Central Division and the Western Conference. The Predators are in action on Saturday in Los Angeles while the Red Wings will next hit the ice on Sunday when they host the Colorado Avalanche.