The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4 in the NHL’s 2nd annual Winter Classic played at Wrigley Field on January 1st. The Blackhawks took a 3-1 lead in the 1st period on goals from Kris Versteeg, Martin Havlat and Ben Eager. The Blackhawks were poised to avenge 3 consecutive losses to the Red Wings in 2008-9, the most recent of which occurred just 2 days earlier in Detroit (a 4-0 shutout for the Red Wings).
The promising start didn’t last for long, as the Red Wings exploded for 5 unanswered goals in a 22-minute stretch spanning the 2nd and 3rd periods. The Red Wings took a commanding 6-3 lead that they would not relinquish. Duncan Keith’s power play goal with 10 seconds left in the game was too little too late.
After winning 9 straight games, the Blackhawks dropped their last 2 games – both to the Red Wings. The Blackhawks fell 8 points behind the Central Division leading Red Wings, but stayed in 4th place in the Western Conference standings with 47 points – just 1 point ahead of the Vancouver Canucks. The Red Wings improved their record to 25-7-5 and have 55 points – good for 3rd best in the NHL.
The Blackhawks resume play against the Calgary Flames on Sunday, January 4th at the United Center. Let’s hope the disappointing play the last 2 games against the Red Wings doesn’t continue into the weekend.