It’s been 11 years now since the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks faced each other in the NHL’s Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago!
The first three combined goals were scored on the power play. The Red Wings paid for a mistake while they were already shorthanded, having too many players on the ice, putting them down by two men. Rookie winger Kris Versteeg scored the first goal of the game for the Blackhawks with three seconds left in the two-man advantage. The Red Wings’ Mikael Samuelsson scored with three seconds remaining on his team’s second power play which was the result of a Dustin Byfuglien roughing minor that was called during one of the many post-whistle scrums during the first period. Martin Havlat capitalized on another Red Wings mistake, scoring on the power play that resulted from Brett Lebda shooting the puck over the glass from his defensive zone. Ben Eager closed the scoring in the first period with a wrap-around goal.
Detroit scored the next five goals, the first two from Jiri Hudler and the next from Pavel Datsyuk at even-strength in the second period. Datsyuk’s goal was hailed as being wind-assisted, since Datsyuk picked up a burst of speed as he went between two Blackhawks defenders to find a clear path to the net. In the third period, defenseman Brian Rafalski scored the eventual game-winning goal on the power play. Seventeen seconds later, Brett Lebda scored the Red Wings’ final goal, chasing Cristobal Huet from the net, with Nikolai Khabibulin taking over for him. In his 16:36 of play, Khabibulin saved all 13 shots that he faced, after Huet saved 24 of 30 shots. Duncan Keith closed the scoring for Chicago on the power play with less than ten seconds remaining. Conklin made 33 saves for the Red Wings on 37 shots.