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Red Wings Tighten Defense, but Fall in OT to Blackhawks

January 28th, 2013 at 6:42 PM
By Frank Vajcner

There's a philosophy that the best teams aren't judged by how much they win by, but rather how well they respond to adversity.

The Detroit Red Wings have faced plenty of adversity this season, and faced more of it in the game against a bitter rival Chicago Blackhawks team that had yet to lose a game.

It took overtime to settle things, and it was the Blackhawks' Nick Leddy who scored the game winner at 2:45. Leddy took a pass from Viktor Stalberg, then fired a shot that was first deflected by the Red Wings' Damien Brunner, then fluttered past Jimmy Howard to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 victory.

The Blackhawks (6-0-0) set a record for the best start in franchise history with the win.

"It's an unbelievable feeling, one I'll never forget," Leddy said of the goal. "I heard that stat (best start) before the game. If we stick to doing the little things, we'll be great."

The Red Wings looked like they were about to be run out of the United Center, as Chicago's Duncan Keith scored a power play goal at 2:24 of the first period after taking a pass from Brent Seabrook and beating Howard with a slapshot.

The Red Wings (2-2-1) would not back down as they turned up the heat on Crawford, but he along with the Blackhawks' stingy penalty kill kept the score 1-0 through 40 minutes. Crawford made spectacular saves in the second on shots from Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi.

Johan Franzen got the Red Wings on the board at 4:30 in the third as he beat Crawford between the pads. It was Franzen's first goal of the year.

Both Crawford and Howard made spectacular saves in the rest of regulation, as Crawford robbed Cory Emmerton of a point-blank goal in the period, and Howard denied Seabrook and Jonathan Toews late. Keith almost broke the tie in the third, but his shot rang off of the post.

Crawford finished the game with 29 saves. Howard made 26 in the loss.

"I thought we really carried the play in the last 30 minutes of the game," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "They were better than us early. They outskated us, and then we really dug in and got playing a while. We had every opportunity to win the game."

NOTES: The Blackhawks are one of two unbeaten teams in the NHL; the other being the San Jose Sharks (5-0-0)…Red Wings center Darren Helm was a late scratch with a lingering back injury…This was the 722nd game between the Red Wings and Blackhawks, and eighth consecutive game between the two to be decided by one goal…The record for the longest winning streak in NHL history was set by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins, who won 17 straight.

THREE STARS:

  1. CHI. Corey Crawford (W, 29 saves, .967 save percentage)
  2. DET. Pavel Datsyuk
  3. CHI. Marcus Krueger
Tags: Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, NHL

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