Bertuzzi Lifts Red Wings Past Blackhawks in OT

Todd Bertuzzi scored with 39 seconds remaining in overtime on Saturday afternoon, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.

It was Detroit’s 14th consecutive home win, tying a franchise record.

Bertuzzi banged the rebound of a Valtteri Filppula chance past Chicago netminder Corey Crawford from the slot to give the Red Wings the win. It was his second goal of the afternoon.

Tomas Holmstrom had opened the game’s scoring with 7:04 remaining in the first period, tipping an Ian White shot from the high slot past Crawford on a power play.

Bertuzzi’s first of the game extended Detroit’s lead with 3:50 left in the period, as he beat Crawford with a backhand shot on a breakaway.

The Red Wings outshot the Blackhawks 21-4 in the opening frame but only carried the 2-0 lead into intermission.

Chicago would halve that lead with 5:06 left in the second. Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard went behind the net to play the puck but it took a funny bounce and deflected off the heel of his stick to the side of the net, where Andrew Shaw jumped on it and put it into the open net.

The Blackhawks dominated the third period in an effort to get even They took the first eleven shots of the period and outshot Detroit 16-5 but needed until the game’s final minute to tie things up.

With 52 seconds left, former Red Wing Marian Hossa fired a shot from the blue line that deflected off of Wings’ defenseman Niklas Lidstrom and Chicago forward Jonathan Toews to get past Howard, knotting the game at two.

The Red Wings seeminly flipped a switch in the overtime, outshooting Chicago 9-0 before Bertuzzi’s game-winner.

Howard finished the afternoon with 25 saves on 27 shots against. Crawford made 40 stops on 43 shots.

Holmstrom’s power play goal was the only goal scored with the man-advantage on Detroit’s only chance with the extra attacker. The Blackhawks were scoreless on three power plays.

The Red Wings look to extend their home winning streak on Monday when they host the Buffalo Sabres.

Bertuzzi was a late addition to the Red Wings’ lineup, having recovered from the injury that kept him out of Detroit’s win over Phoenix on Thursday. Jam Mursak was a healthy scratch to make room for him. Injured defenseman Mike Commodore was the other Detroit scratch… The game was the 700th of head coach Mike Babcock‘s career.

Postgame: Blackhawks @ Red Wings – 1/14

I had joked before the game that Todd Bertuzzi was in the lineup for the Red Wings today because his skills would be needed for the inevitable shootout against Chicago. I was close, as it was Bertuzzi scoring with 39 seconds left in overtime to keep the Wings from a shootout with a 3-2 win.

Bertuzzi’s winner (and his breakaway goal in the first) were fantastic and it’s great to come away with two points, but I’m going to be a downer about this game.

The Red Wings absolutely dominated the first period. They had ten shots before the Blackhawks had one. If not for Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, Detroit could have had this game wrapped up in the first twenty minutes.

But they didn’t. They carried only a two goal lead into the second period and then proceeded to play as if Chicago was out of it.

An odd bounce got the Blackhawks back into the game and then it was their turn to dominate in the third period, firing the first eleven shots of the frame. It took them the entire period but eventually they tied things back up.

Thankfully, the Red Wings dominated the OT and pulled out the win. That said, they had nine shots in OT, compared to only eight in the second and five in the third. That’s a sign of how bad they were in those two periods, that they got more shots in a five-minute overtime than either of two entire twenty minute periods.

So, positives: Jimmy Howard was a rock, once again. Domination of the first period and overtime.

Negatives: Absolutely fell asleep in the second and most of the third. Let the Blackhawks back in it enough that they got a point in the standings to stay ahead of the Wings.

I’ll take the win but they’ve got work to do.

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