DETROIT — In less than two minutes, the Chicago Blackhawks did all the damage they needed to do. Then they just kept scoring.
The Blackhawks scored three goals during a span of 1:39 early in the first period and Brandon Saad and Dave Bolland finished with two goal apiece in the Chicago Blackhawks' 7-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.
"Especially these early games, it's nice to get off to a good start," Saad said. "We got a couple of bounces and got a couple of goals and it was nice to play with the lead."
All this misfortune happened on Gordie Howe's 85th birthday with Mr. Hockey in the building.
The Red Wings wore jerseys with Howe's retired No. 9 during warmups. Fans also could sign a birthday card for Howe.
Former Red Wings' defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who won seven Norris Trophies, was in from Sweden for the occasion. Also on hand were Red Wings Hall of Famers Ted Lindsay and Alex Delvecchio.
Jonathan Toews added a goal and two assists and Jeremy Morin and Nick Leddy, also scored for Chicago. Cory Crawford made 33 saves.
"Contributions from everybody. It certainly helps when you get a quick start like that right off the bat," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
Cory Emmerton scored Detroit's lone goal. Jimmy Howard was pulled in favor of Jonas Gustavsson early in the second period. Gustavsson made nine saves. Chicago led 3-0 at the end of the first period after scoring on its first three shots in a 1:39 span in the game's first four-and-a-half minutes.
Morin, who was recalled from the minor leagues on Saturday, opened the scoring when he put one in from a goal-mouth scramble at 2:33. Saad capitalized on a breakaway off left wing to beat Howard, for his fifth goal of the season, 48 seconds later and Bolland was credited with his first goal of the game, at 4:12, when Detroit defenseman Jakub Kindl accidentally flipped the puck into his own net while trying to clear it from the crease.
"We didn't play hockey tonight whatsoever. It's tough when you spot them a few goals right away from the start," Red Wings' defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "You dig a big hole for yourselves and we couldn't find a way to get back. It was embarrassing at times."
The Red Wings didn't manage a shot until 7:15 into the game and Detroit defenseman Brian Lashoff hit the goal post with a little less than two minutes left.
"We wanted to have a good first period," Toews said. "We were glad to put up a lot of goals early. But we knew we couldn't let up."
Toews and Saad scored eight seconds apart early in the second period for a 5-0 lead. Saad added an assist.
Toews got his 17 goal, at 3:52. That sent Howard to the showers and Saad collected his sixth goal of the season at 4:00, on the first shot on Gustavsson.
NOTES: Detroit C Henrik Zetterberg didn't play because of a lower-body injury after skating in warmups. He is day-to-day. ... Chicago Fs Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa were both on the injured list with lower-body injuries. ... Red Wings' F Mikael Samuelsson returned after missing 19 games with a broken finger. ... Detroit F Johan Franzen played after leaving the Thursday’s game in San Jose with a lower-body injury.