Blackhawks

Red Wings set NHL history

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Red Wings set NHL history

From Comcast SportsNetDETROIT (AP) -- It didn't look like just another night for the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena when a fan hurled an octopus on the ice, an act usually reserved for a playoff game. And, It didn't sound like an ordinary matchup in the regular season when fans stood and chanted, "Let's go Red Wings!" during the final minutes and cheered wildly when the clock hit zero. In between, Detroit beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 Sunday night and equaled an NHL mark with its 20th straight win at home. "It felt like it was a little bit of a special game," said Johan Franzen, who scored his league-leading 10th game-winning goal early in the third period. The NHL-leading Red Wings have downplayed the streak, saying they're more focused on trying to keep their edge in the highly competitive Central Division and Western Conference. "We don't want to talk about it," defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said. "We just want to keep it going." The league mark was set by the Boston Bruins during the 1929-30 season and matched by Philadelphia in 1976. "We definitely wanted to keep them from tying the record," Flyers winger Scott Hartnell said. "We're all disappointed about that." Detroit can break the record with a win Tuesday night over the Dallas Stars at Joe Louis Arena. "It's not too often you get a chance to do that," Red Wings goalie Joey MacDonald said. Philadelphia rookie Brayden Schenn had a career-high two goals, helping the Flyers take the first of two leads they couldn't keep against a team that hasn't lost at home since Nov. 3 against Calgary. MacDonald overcame shaky clearing attempts that led to two goals and finished with 26 saves. "What I liked was how he played after a mistake," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 21 shots for the Flyers. Bobrovsky's head was on a swivel in the opening minute of the third period when Henrik Zetterberg and Lidstrom made diagonal passes to set up Franzen in front of the net for his 22nd goal. "There's not much you can do about it when they're zinging it around like that," Hartnell said. "They picked us apart a few times out there and that was the difference." Lidstrom played in his 1,550th game, the most by an NHL player who spent his entire career with one team. He broke the mark set by former Red Wings great Alex Delvecchio. "He came down on Friday and congratulated me and we took a picture together," Lidstrom said. "That means a lot to me." Early on, Philadelphia took advantage of facing MacDonald instead of Jimmy Howard, who missed his fifth straight game with a broken right index finger. The Red Wings are hoping Howard will return Friday night at home against Nashville. MacDonald misplayed a puck behind the net to help Schenn score late in the first period and couldn't clear a rebound early in the second, setting up Schenn's second goal that put the Flyers ahead 2-1. Pavel Datsyuk tied it 2-all a few minutes later on a power-play goal from the left circle. MacDonald didn't have much of a chance to stop Maxime Talbot's go-ahead goal late in the second period. Talbot got behind Detroit's defense and flipped the puck past MacDonald. Zetterberg's one-timer a couple of minutes later tied the game at 3 entering the third, giving fans another boost for the final period. "It was a great atmosphere out there, it was like playing in the playoffs," Franzen said. "We have to thank them for giving us the extra energy that we needed." NOTES: The NBA's longest home winning streak in a season was set by Chicago with 37 straight victories during the 1995-96 season; the 1978 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1988 Boston Red Sox each won 24 straight at home for baseball's longest single-season home winning streaks since 1919 and the Miami Dolphins won 27 straight at home from 1971-74 in what has stood as the longest home winning streak in NFL history. ... Schenn, the fifth pick in the 2009 draft, was acquired by Philadelphia last summer from Los Angeles as part of the Mike Richards trade. ... Kronwall's goal was his 12th, topping his career high set last season. ... The Flyers have had four straight games without a power-play goal after scoring at least one in the previous six.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. One big reunion.

The Blackhawks will square off with the Blue Jackets for the first time since Oct. 7, which was the second game of the season. In that game, they won 5-1 led by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad, each of whom scored a goal and added an assist.

Of course, that was the first game since the offseason trade that sent Artemi Panarin to Columbus and Saad back to Chicago, along with Anton Forsberg. Artem Anisimov, of course, was part of the original deal that sent Saad to Columbus in 2015, so there are a lot of emotional ties between the two teams.

Forsberg didn't get a chance to face the Blue Jackets in the first meeting, but there's a chance he will this time with it being the second of a back-to-back and Jean-Francois Berube getting the start in Friday's 3-1 win over San Jose.

2. Panarin and Kane bromance.

The emotions of a difficult break-up have probably died down by now, but Panarin and Kane gave us this moment at center ice during pregame warmups in their first game against each other and it hit Chicago right in the feels:

Panarin has spent enough time apart from Kane for people to realize how big of a star he is in his own right, leading the Blue Jackets in all three scoring categories: goals (17), assists (32) and points (49).

He hasn't gone more than three games this season without recording a point, and is looking to extend his point streak to four games, which would tie a season high.

3. Struggling Blue Jackets special teams.

The Blue Jackets got off to a great start but are barely clinging onto a wild card spot going into Saturday's game, and a big reason for that slide is their lack of success on special teams. Usually one can pick up the slack for the other, but they've been brutal in both departments.

The Blue Jackets are 0-for-9 on the power play in their past five games and are ranked 31st overall, converting on only 14.1 percent of their opportunities. They also have own the 27th-ranked penalty kill with a 76.3 percent success rate.

So if there's an area the Blackhawks can exploit, it's that. But, you know, still be mindful of that Russian winger's one-timer from the faceoff circle.

Jean-Francois Berube impressed in his first Blackhawks start

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USA TODAY

Jean-Francois Berube impressed in his first Blackhawks start

Jean-Francois Berube got his first start of the season on Friday night, and it couldn't have gone any better.

The 26-year-old goaltender stopped 42 of 43 shots, a career-high for him in saves, in the Blackhawks' 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks at the United Center.

Since Corey Crawford went down with a head injury last December, the Blackhawks have been searching for consistency in the crease. 

The pair of Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass — who was assigned to Rockford on Feb. 15 and replaced with Berube — have had their ups and downs since then. With the Blackhawks out of the playoff picture, Berube had an opportunity showcase his skills, and he didn't disappoint.

"We were very happy with him," said coach Joel Quenneville. "I thought he did a great job. He was comfortable. I thought he was very patient in his net. Absorbing a lot of pucks with people in front of him was good. Closed some gaps and got … of the top of the paint. Rebound control was effective. Nice response from a long absence."

Berube's last — and only — appearance with the Blackhawks prior to Friday's game came on Dec. 6, relieving Forsberg in a game against the Washington Capitals. He recorded 12 saves of 14 shots. 

When Crawford got injured, Berube was the primary candidate to become the team's backup goaltender. The only problem? He was injured too, so the Blackhawks promoted Glass.

"I didn't want to sit and think about it," Berube said of his injury. "At the same time, it was great for Glasser. He was one of those guys that probably deserved it earlier in his career and he finally got his chance. Sometimes you need a guy to go down to have your chance. So I was mostly happy for him.

On Friday night, he got his chance.

"You always want to have a good impression for your first game," Berube said. "I know what I can do at this level, so it was just a matter of getting the opportunity to play and showing people what I can do."

Celebrating his 22nd birthday, Nick Schmaltz also had a goal and an assist. Artem Anisimov scored an empty-netter.

"It's a lot more fun coming to the rink when you're winning, enjoying each other, playing well as a team," Schmaltz said of the Blackhawks' win, which have now won three of their last four games. "Hopefully we can keep that good energy and bring it to the rink every day, and build off of that.

"You never know where this team can go, a lot of great players, lots of guys that have had a lot of success. Hopefully we can continue to put together solid efforts."