The Detroit Red Wings, skating with an 18-man roster rather than the usual twenty players due to injuries, set a new NHL record with their eleventh road victory of the season Thursday night, a 7-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
The win also extended Detroit’s record for road wins in a season to thirty.
The Red Wings were without Pavel Datsyuk, Mathieu Schneider, Robert Lang, Steve Yzerman and Jason Williams. After calling up Donald MacLean earlier this week to fill in for Lang, Detroit had reached the league’s salary cap and could not call up reinforcements to replace the other injured players.
Shanahan scored his first of the night at 3:12 of the opening period. MacLean had the puck at the bottom of the left circle and sent it out front to Mark Mowers. Mowers didn’t have a shot, so he kicked it back to Shanahan who one-timed it home.
Just 21 seconds later, Zetterberg put Detroit up by two when a Nicklas Lidstrom shot from the left circle went wide of the goal. The puck bounced off the boards behind the net and came to Zetterberg at the far side of the crease for a tap-in.
Zetterberg’s second of the night gave the Red Wings a three-goal lead 3:52 later.
With the teams skating four-on-four, Zetterberg carried the puck through the Chicago zone but couldn’t get an angle on goalie Nikolai Khabibulin. Instead, he went behind the net for a wraparound attempt and reached to put a shot off Khabibulin’s skate and into the net from the other side of the goal.
The Blackhawks made a brief comeback with goals by Kyle Calder at 10:31 of the first and Radim Vrbata 46 seconds into the second.
At 8:59 of the middle frame, Shanahan’s second of the night put the Wings up 6-2 when he skated through the right circle and banked a shot off Anderson’s shoulder and into the net.
In the third period, Patrick Sharp gave Chicago a shorthanded goal off of a giveaway in the Detroit zone but Shanahan finished the hat trick for the game’s last goal, banging in the rebound of a shot by Lidstrom at 7:38 with the Red Wings on the power play.
Detroit finished the night one-for-nine on the man-advantage while Chicago went one-for-six and scored twice on Detroit power plays.
Red Wings’ netminder Manny Legace made 28 saves on 31 shots while Khabibulin stopped 12 of the 17 attempts he faced and Anderson went 21-for-23.
The Red Wings’ short road trip will conclude on Saturday when they visit the St. Louis Blues.
Steve Yzerman is not with the team on this road trip… Robert Lang and Mathieu Schneider are expected to return to the lineup on Saturday… Jason Woolley left the game in the second period.