The Detroit Red Wings held off a third period comeback by the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, riding three goals in each of the first two periods to a 6-4 win over their longtime rivals.
The game, the first in a home-and-home series on back-to-back nights, saw Detroit captain Steve Yzerman net two goals and Brendan Shanahan add three assists.
The Blackhawks opened the game’s scoring just 1:08 in, when a long shot by former Red Wing Martin Lapointe bounced off the back boards to Matthew Barnaby at the side of the net, where he was open to bang a shot over Detroit goalie Manny Legace.
Detroit evened the game at 6:25, when Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin allowed a long rebound into the slot on a shot by Shanahan. Pavel Datsyuk pounced on it and put a shot over Khabibulin’s glove to get the Wings on the board.
Just 1:43 later, Yzerman’s first of the night gave the Red Wings their first lead. Robert Lang got his own rebound on a shot from Khabibulin’s right and sent a pass through the slot to Yzerman on the other side, wide open to put a shot into the gap to the Chicago goalie’s left side.
The Blackhawks tied the game with 7:57 remaining in the period, when Mikael Holmqvist banked a bad-angle shot off the side of Legace and into the net.
Detroit regained the lead 1:25 later. Henrik Zetterberg tried to split two defenders cutting through the slot but lost the puck. Mark Mowers followed him and picked up the loose puck, whipping a shot past Khabibulin.
The Red Wings extended their lead at 5:33 of the second period, just five seconds into a power play. Zetterberg won a faceoff in the Chicago zone and Pavel Datsyuk poked the puck back to Nicklas Lidstrom, who sent a pass along the blue line to Jason Williams. Williams fired from the right point and the shot was deflected right to Zetterberg for a tap-in.
Kris Draper scored 5:01 later on a rush with Datsyuk and Shanahan. Datsyuk carried the puck into the Chicago zone and held up at the top of the right circle as Draper went to the net. Datsyuk threaded a pass to Draper, who deflected it past Khabibulin.
After allowing five goals on just twenty shots, Khabibulin was pulled in favor of Craig Anderson.
With just 7.2 seconds remaining in the second and the Red Wings on a five-on-three, Steve Yzerman put Detroit up by four, picking the puck out of his skated off a rebound and lifting it over the sprawled Anderson.
Chicago goals by Patrick Sharp and Curtis Brown late in the second cut Detroit’s lead but weren’t enough to pull even.
With 6:23 remaining in the game, Sharp drove the net with the puck and slipped a shot under Legace’s pads.
Just 53 seconds later, Barnaby connected with Brown on a shorthanded goal for the final goal of the game.
Legace finished the game with 25 saves on 29 shots while Anderson made 25 saves on the 26 shots he faced in half a game of play.
Detroit went two-for-nine on the power play and stopped all three of Chicago’s power play attempts, although they did allow a shorthanded goal.
The two teams will meet again on Sunday in Chicago.
The Red Wings played the game in their white jerseys, rather than their “home reds,” and the Blackhawks wore their red sweaters.