on January 1, 2009 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Red Wings end Blackhawks’ record run

DETROIT (Reuters) – The Detroit Red Wings ended the Chicago Blackhawks’ franchise-record nine-game winning streak with a 4-0 victory on Tuesday.

Ty Conklin made 36 saves, Johan Franzen scored twice and Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Kopecky added a goal apiece in the opener of a two-game series that concludes with the outdoor ‘Winter Classic’ on New Year’s Day at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

Chicago dominated the game in the early going, out-shooting the Wings 12-1, but Conklin made several key saves.

It was the netminder’s third shutout of the season and seventh of his career as he continues to play on a more regular basis since Chris Osgood suffered a groin injury.

“The defense was outstanding, and I got a lot of help out there tonight,” Conklin said. “When we play well as a unit it’s easier for whoever is in goal.”

Conklin is looking forward to the Winter Classic.

He was with Edmonton when the Oilers played Montreal at Commonwealth Stadium in 2003 and was in goal for Pittsburgh when the Penguins beat the Buffalo Sabres in a shootout at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo last New Year’s Day.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Conklin said.

“Both teams realize the importance of it. It’s more than a run-of-the-mill regular season game.”

Datsyuk’s power-play goal at 15:51 of the first period opened the scoring and Franzen’s power-play marker early in the second made it 2-0.

“The power play was the difference,” Franzen said.

Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 35 shots for the Blackhawks, who had earned at least a point in 11 consecutive games.

Detroit’s Brian Rafalski and Niklas Kronwall each had two assists in the game, the 700th meeting between two of the NHL’s oldest franchises.

(Writing by Roger Lajoie in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford)