In a high-paced game that was dominated at times by both teams, it was the Detroit Red Wings that came out with a hard-earned 3-2 overtime victory on Saturday. Todd Bertuzzi was the star, scoring two goals including the game winner in overtime with just 39 ticks remaining.
The win gives Detroit 14 straight at home, which ties the club’s franchise record.
Both goaltenders were remarkable, but in the end it was Jimmy Howard and not Cory Crawford who emerged victorious. Howard stopped 25 of 27 shots, while Crawford had 40 saves on 43 shots.
With one minute remaining in regulation, it looked as if the Red Wings would hold off a vicious Blackhawk attack in the third. Then, with 52 seconds left, Chicago winger Marion Hossa ripped a slap shot that caromed off defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and into the back of the net. It was an unlucky bounce for the Wings, but credit to Chicago for a furious third period in which they outshot the Wings 16-5.
The Blackhawks managed a point in this one, but the Wings would not allow any more. The home team took over in the extra five minutes, firing nine shots at Crawford and holding Chicago without a single shot on goal.
Detroit’s attack finally got the game winner after Valtteri Filppula’s shot bounced off Crawford and into the air in front of the net. Bertuzzi was there to pick it beautifully out of mid-air and into the back of the net for a Wings win.
The victory gets the Wings within a single point of the Hawks, who have stumbled a bit in their last ten games, going 4-4-2.
Pavel Datsyuk was once again marvelous, adding two assists on the night. After the game, Bertuzzi called Datsyuk “the best player I have ever played with,” and went on to say that with some hard work, he considers the Wings a contender for the Stanley Cup.
Tomas Holmstrom also scored for Detroit, giving him seven goals on the season now. Defenseman Ian White got in on the action as well, tallying two assists.
The Red Wings will look to keep their home win streak alive Monday against Buffalo, a game in which they look to set a new franchise record with 15 straight.