Keith’s OT goal pushes Blackhawks past Red Wings
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks know how to find ways to win tight games. So after watching an early lead disappear Tuesday night, squeaking out a victory in the end became a matter of business as usual.
Duncan Keith scored a power-play goal 38 seconds into overtime, and Corey Crawford made 33 saves as the Blackhawks outlasted the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 to win their fourth consecutive game.
Keith’s game-winner came after the Blackhawks began overtime with a four-on-three advantage when Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader -- playing for the first time since Dec. 1 -- was sent off for boarding Niklas Hjalmarsson late in the third period.
Unable to produce a goal late in regulation, the Blackhawks used their sixth power-play chance to earn the overtime victory.
”We’ve been finding ways to win, it seems,“ Keith said. ”We did a lot of good things, but I think we still have times where we know we still could’ve been better in periods and in lapses of the game and whatnot.
“We did what we had to there, as a team, and they came back and scored every time we got the lead, it seemed. Give (Detroit) credit, but we’ve been able to find ways to win, and that’s a big thing, too.”
The Blackhawks took advantage of having the extra man and won despite finishing 2-for-6 on the power play. Crawford helped preserve the tie with several key saves in the final period, including one after he turned the puck over before he slid back into the crease to knock down a Frans Nielsen shot.
The tide turned, though, on the call against Abdelkader, who said he wasn’t certain he did anything to merit a penalty.
“I just really tried to rub him out there,” Abdelkader said. “I wasn’t trying to put him into the fourth row or anything.”
After back-to-back Detroit goals in the second period tied the game, Tanner Kero gave the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead with his first goal of the season with just under two minutes to play in the period. The Red Wings responded with 19 seconds remaining in the middle period when Luke Glendening poked in a backhanded rebound following a flurry of chances around the Chicago net.
The Red Wings bounced back after they struggled early to stay out of the penalty box. Chicago took advantage.
“The two ways you probably lose momentum is getting scored on and having to kill penalties,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “That was a hard way to start the first. I think it had lots to do with the lack of jump.”
The Blackhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period when they scored a pair of goals in a 26-second span. Brian Campbell’s shot from the point somehow found its way cleanly through Detroit’s defense and past goalie Petr Mrazek, who faced 16 shots in the first period alone. Richard Panik followed Campbell’s goal by rebounding a miss by Ryan Hartman, who couldn’t finish off a breakaway chance just past the midway of the period.
Detroit cut the deficit to 2-1 just 1:07 into the second period when Andreas Athanasiou fired a shot past Crawford to get the Red Wings to within a goal. The Red Wings drew even just more than 11 minutes into the second when Tomas Tatar took a pass from Dylan Larkin and beat Crawford.
Despite surrendering the lead, the Blackhawks found a way to rally. Chicago won all four games on its homestand after coming off a stretch in which it lost five of six games.
“We’ve been playing better,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “I thought tonight was a real solid game, a little slow in the second (period), but we did some good things across the board and obviously (had) a great play on the winner there in overtime. Big win for us.”
Mrazek finished with 39 saves.
NOTES: Red Wings F Justin Abdelkader returned Tuesday night after missing 16 games with a sprained MCL he sustained Dec. 1 against the Florida Panthers. “It’s been a little longer than I expected, but that’s the way it goes sometimes,” Abdelkader told reporters at Detroit’s morning skate Tuesday. ...D Mike Green returned from an undisclosed injury after missing eight games since Dec. 17. ... D Nick Jensen, RW Tomas Jurco and C Steve Ott were scratches for the Red Wings ... The Blackhawks had an NHL-best four players named to the All-Star Game. G Corey Crawford, RW Patrick Kane, C Jonathan Toews and D Duncan Keith were all named to the Western Conference squad. Kane and Toews are both six-time All-Stars. Keith will make his fourth All-Star appearance, while Crawford was named an All-Star for the second time in his career. ... C Frans Nielsen is Detroit’s lone All-Star. ... D Michal Rozsival was scratched for Chicago.