Bobby Hull, the great “Golden Jet,” was among the 20,058 fans at Joe Louis Arena to see two of his scoring records broken and watch the Red Wings defeat the Washington Capitals, 3-1.
Detroit opened the scoring just under two minutes into the game. Kirk Maltby shot the puck from the left point, and Luc Robitaille was in just the right spot to tip it past goaltender Olaf Kolzig to score the 611th goal of his career, moving him past Bobby Hull’s record as the highest-scoring left winger of all time.
Washington did not increase the intensity of their play, but they got their chance when Chris Chelios was sent to the penalty box for interference. Adam Oates passed across the rink to Peter Bondra, wide open on the right side. Bondra took the shot, and it went into the net over Dominik Hasek‘s left arm only thirteen seconds after the power play’s start.
The rest of the game belonged to the Red Wings. Brett Hull scored the eventual game winning goal forty-six seconds before the end of the period. Pavel Datsyuk passed from behind the net to Hull waiting in front of the net with the blade of his stick down on the ice. The pass went right to the stick and into the net behind Kolzig.
The second period was scoreless, in spite of three power plays for the Red Wings and one for the Capitals.
Detroit scored once more midway through the third period. Sergei Fedorov, playing forward again after being on defense for several games, took a pass from Robitaille. Fedorov sent it out front, attempting a centering pass to Kirk Maltby. The puck apparently had other plans. It bounced off the Washington defenseman’s stick, to one of Kolzig’s leg pads, and into the net.
The Capitals brought Kolzig to the bench with over a minute and a half remaining to play, but even with the extra skater, the Capitals were never quite able to get into a scoring position against Hasek.
The Red Wings outshot Washington thirty-four to seventeen. Detroit’s next game will be Sunday night against the Ottawa Senators.
Sean Avery was sent back down to Cincinnati of the AHL to make room on the roster for Fredrik Olausson, back from injured reserve. Brett Hull’s goal was the ninety-ninth game winner of his career, putting him alone at third place on the all-time list of number of game winning goals scored. With whom was he tied at ninety-eight? None other than his own father, Bobby Hull.