Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard watches as a goal by Chicago Blackhawk Nick Leddy trickles into the net during overtime game Sunday in Chicago. The Red Wings lost 2-1.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
CHICAGO — Nick Leddy scored 2:45 into overtime and the Chicago Blackhawks improved to 6-0 — the best start in franchise history — with a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings today.
After taking a cross-ice pass from Viktor Stalberg, Leddy fired from the left circle and beat Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard with a shot that slipped just under his glove.
Detroit's Johan Franzen connected early in the third to tie the game at 1 and set up overtime.
Duncan Keith scored a power-play goal in the first period for Chicago, and Corey Crawford finished with 29 saves in his fifth start in six games.
Howard, who has started all five of Detroit's games, made 25 saves.
The Blackhawks started 5-0 in 1971-72 — Hall of Famer Bobby Hull's final season in Chicago — and matched it on Saturday night with a 3-2 win in Columbus.
Chicago killed all six of Detroit's power plays, improving to 22 of 23 this season. Injury-depleted Detroit has gone just 2 for 26 with the man advantage so far.
Chicago has won four straight against Detroit, dating to Feb. 21, 2012. The Blackhawks and Red Wings met for the 722th time, the most of any two NHL opponents. Sunday's game was only the Blackhawks' second at home, and they begin a six-game road trip Wednesday in Minnesota. The Blackhawks don't skate at home again until Feb. 12 as they play 10 of their first 12 games away from the United Center.
Keith scored the only goal of the first period, during a power play 2:24 in.
Crawford had to be sharp to preserve the lead in second. Early in the period, he made close-in saves on Todd Bertuzzi and Henrik Zetterberg. And the Blackhawks needed Crawford as they ran into penalty trouble in the second. Detroit was unable to convert any of four straight power plays beginning midway through the second, including a 43-second 5-on-3 advantage.
The Blackhawks started the third on their heels, and Franzen finally tied it at 1 with an even-strength goal at 4:30 of the period. After Zetterberg's shot was blocked, Franzen picked up the loose puck and closed in from the right circle. He got by Keith and beat Crawford with a shot between the legs.
Crawford made a point-blank stop on Cory Emmerton midway through the third to preserve the tie.
Howard then made sprawling saves on Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews during a Chicago power play with just under 5 minutes left in the third. Keith's shot a minute-and-a-half later hit the post.
Crawford stopped Franzen's prime chance 1:30 into overtime.
NOTES: Red Wings D Jonathan Ericsson returned after missing three games with an injured hip. ... Detroit C Darren Helm (back) and D Jakub Kindl (healthy scratch) sat out after playing on Friday against Minnesota. Both have missed four of five games so far. ... Red Wings D Ian White (leg), D Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and LW Jan Mursak (shoulder) and G Jonas Gustavsson (groin) remain sidelined. ... Out for Chicago were LW Daniel Carcillo (knee) and D Steve Montador (concussion, from last season.) ... The Blackhawks 1971-72 team won nine of its first 11 games en route to a 46-17-15 record and first place in the NHL's old Western Division.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.