Chicago at Detroit

Blackhawks' Niemi stymies Red Wings in shutout victory wire reports

DETROIT -- It doesn't seem to matter who plays goal for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Antti Niemi made 33 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and his career, and Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist in the Blackhawks' 3-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.

Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews also scored for Chicago, which also shut out Detroit 3-0 on Sunday night in Chicago with Cristobal Huet in goal.

"We know whether it's Antti or Huey, we're going to get great goaltending," Sharp said. "We tip our hats to our team defensive game."

Jimmy Howard stopped 28 shots for Detroit, which has gone 2 hours, 21 minutes without a goal.

"We got to find ways to score goals. We got a lot of pucks to the net, there was a lot of rebounds lying around we just couldn't get to," Detroit's Kris Draper said. "We had a good start but weren't able to get that all-important first goal, when you're struggling to score, when you have some of your big players out, you got to find a way to score early."

Detroit was without eight regulars because of injury or illness.

"I think at this time right now their roster is better than ours. It was evident as the game went on and we didn't score," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

"They're a good team. When they play hard and we play hard, they're better. They were better two nights in a row, it's that simple."

Detroit has long dominated the Central Division. It appears the Blackhawks have turned the tide. They are first in the Central and tied with the San Jose Sharks for the top point total in the Western Conference, while Detroit is ninth in the Western Conference and out of the playoffs. But Sharp says not yet.

"Until we beat them in a playoff series, they'll remain on top," he said.

It was also Marian Hossa's first game in Detroit after leaving the Red Wings last summer to sign a 12-year, $62 million free-agent contract with the Blackhawks. He received a loud chorus of boos when his name was announced as part of the starting lineup and also was booed each time he touched the puck. Hossa hit the crossbar on a breakaway with a little more than 3½ minutes left in the first period and assisted on Sharp's goal.

"It doesn't bother me," Hossa said. "I was only here a short period of time but I have some great memories. We came up one game short and I have some great friends here."

Hossa left Pittsburgh to sign a one-year free agent deal with Detroit in the summer of 2008 -- after the Red Wings beat the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals -- spurning several long-term, lucrative offers, including one from Pittsburgh. But the Penguins beat Hossa and the Red Wings in seven games in last spring's Cup Finals.

Kane opened the scoring 30 seconds into the second period with a power-play goal. He beat Howard with a slap shot from the top of the left circle with Troy Brouwer screening the Detroit goalie for Kane's 12th goal.

Sharp scored 3:47 into the third period when he jammed one in off a goalmouth scramble with the teams playing 4-on-4. It was Sharp's 11th goal.

Toews scored with 1:18 left.


  • Detroit D Brian Rafalski didn't play because of the flu. Defenseman Jakub Kindl was recalled from Detroit's AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids for his second stint in Detroit this season to replace Rafalski.
  • Detroit RW Mattias Ritola made his NHL debut.
  • Chicago LW Ben Eager missed his fourth game because of an upper-body injury and Blackhawks D Cam Barker missed his third game with a lower-body injury.
  • The Red Wings celebrated the 30th anniversary of Joe Louis Arena.
  • Hockey Hall of Famer Gordie Howe carried the Winter Olympics torch for a short stint as it came through southern Ontario on Wednesday. Howe also was in attendance at the game.
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Antti Niemi eyes the flying puck as nothing gets by the Chicago goaltender on this night.  (US Presswire)
Antti Niemi eyes the flying puck as nothing gets by the Chicago goaltender on this night. (US Presswire)
Chicago  (24-9-3) «0123
Detroit (18-14-5)0000
Three Stars
P. Kane

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
P. Sharp

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
A. Niemi

Saves: 33
Save Pct.: 1.000

Related Video

Scoring Summary
30.0Power Play - Patrick Kane (12), Slap Shot. Assist: Campbell, Brouwer
03:47Patrick Sharp (11), Slap Shot. Assist: Keith, Hossa
18:42Jonathan Toews (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Keith, Kane
Penalty Summary
04:03Draper, 2 min, Roughing
06:01Seabrook, 2 min, Hooking
06:01Toews, 2 min, Roughing
06:01Maltby, 2 min, Roughing
18:56Bertuzzi, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
04:02Hjalmarsson, 2 min, Hooking
12:53Ladd, 2 min, Interference
03:02Maltby, 2 min, Roughing
03:02Byfuglien, 2 min, Roughing
04:47Toews, 2 min, Interference
05:36Bertuzzi, 2 min, Slashing
14:00Keith, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
Antti Niemi60:00330
Jimmy Howard59:58283
Game Information
Attendance - 20066
Referees - Brian Pochmara, Don Van Massenhoven
Linesmen - Scott Cherrey, Mark Shewchyk
Other Games
Phi 5 Final
TB 2
Fla 1 Final
Buf 2 Final
Wash 5
Ana 0 Final
Pho 4
Ott 2 Final
Pitt 8
Edm 1 Final
Min 3
Mon 5 Final
Car 1
Tor 1 Final
StL 2 Final
Cal 1
Atl 4 Final
Bos 6
Colu 1 Final
Dal 3