Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011
Posted 3:40 p.m. Updated 4:56 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
DETROIT After their five-day break between games, the Chicago Blackhawks could have had a slow start and labored to shake off rust against the Detroit Red Wings.
Instead, the Blackhawks came out fast and their goaltender made sure they finished strong.
Tomas Kopecky scored twice against his former team and Dave Bolland had a goal and an assist as the Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday afternoon. Corey Crawford stopped 36-of-37 for the Blackhawks, who have now won five of their last six heading into Sunday mornings tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Heading into Saturday nights games, the Blackhawks were sixth in the Western Conference with 56 points.
The Blackhawks liked their Thursday and Friday practices and wanted to bring the same energy on Saturday. Healthy and rolling all four lines, the Blackhawks dictated the tempo through most of this one.
Thats what we need to do from now on. We have to set our standards really high and push ourselves, Kopecky said. We said wed take it a period at a time and we did that.
Defenseman Brent Seabrook said sometimes its tough to get a good start when youve had a week or 4-5 days off. Its nice to see we had a good tempo all week and we pushed the pace and played hard today. We just kept it going throughout.
Troy Brouwer had a goal and an assist and Duncan Keith had two assists for the Blackhawks.
WATCH: Brouwer, Seabrook finding power
Crawford gave up a bad goal early to Wings forward Cory Emmerton, who was playing in his first NHL game on Saturday. But he was stellar after that, stopping some choice Red Wings chances. He was especially big in the third period when the Wings pushed back at the Blackhawks and fired 20 shots at Crawford.
I felt my timing was off in the beginning, I felt a little weird. I wasnt in the right position, Crawford said. But I felt better as it went on.
Bollands power-play goal in the first gave the Blackhawks back the momentum they had most of that opening period. Kopeckys first from Bolland -- came just 15 seconds into the Blackhawks second power play. His second, about five minutes later, was a put-back on Marian Hossas attempt.
The Blackhawks knew this weekend was going to be big. They had the pace and early scoring to hold off the Red Wings. Theyll need another effort like that against Philadelphia on Sunday.
We have to gauge ourselves against these two teams. We have to go into these games and really judge ourselves against them, Brouwer said. To get this one today, its good for confidence. Hopefully we have a good one again tomorrow and get some points.
Patrick Sharp said he was pumped when he found out Patrick Kane was chosen as an alternate captain for the All-Star game.
WATCH: Kane has tough decision ahead
Now I hope he picks me ahead of (Jonathan) Toews, Sharp said. Well see. Ive got a Thunder Bay guy (Eric Staal) as captain of the other team.
Kane said Red Wings defenseman and All-Star captain Nicklas Lidstrom asked him who he would pick. Kane said, anyone but Toews.
Coach Joel Quenneville said theres a chance Crawford starts Sunday against Philadelphia.
Kopecky now has 10 goals, equaling his total all of last season.
NBC.com will stream Sundays Game of the Week between the Blackhawks and Flyers in its entirety for free.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.