Skip to main content

Blackhawks win team-record ninth straight, top Wild 4-1 @NHLdotcom

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Dustin Byfuglien led Chicago to its franchise-record ninth straight victory, scoring two goals and adding an assist in the Blackhawks' 4-1 decision over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night.

Chicago broke the team record of eight straight victories set in December 1971 and matched in January 1981. With the nine-game streak, the Blackhawks also tied San Jose for the longest run of the season.

Martin Havlat and Kris Versteeg also scored, and Cristobal Huet made 18 saves, allowing only Cal Clutterbuck's third-period goal.

Chicago trails Detroit by four points in the Central Division with two games in hand. They will play Tuesday night in Detroit and Thursday in Chicago in the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field.

Minnesota has lost seven of 10.

For the second straight game, Chicago charged to an early two-goal lead.

Byfuglien scored off a scramble seven minutes in, then tipped Duncan Keith's slapshot past Niklas Backstrom for a power-play goal 2 1/2 minutes later. Chicago held an 11-2 shots advantage at that point, and outshot Minnesota 32-19 overall.

The Blackhawks led 2-0 less than three minutes into their 5-1 home victory over Philadelphia on Friday night, a game in which Chicago held a 22-shot edge.

Havlat scored the lone second-period goal, taking a feed from Brian Campbell and slipping it between Backstrom and the post. Versteg scored an empty-netter with 2.6 seconds left. Chicago is averaging 4.44 goals during its winning streak.

As smooth as Chicago was offensively with its skating and tape-to-tape passes, its defense continued to be equally adept. The Blackhawks have allowed an average of 1.33 goals in the winning streak.

Huet, 6-0-1 in his last seven starts, never had to make a big save, until James Sheppard was stopped on the doorstep late in the game. Rebounds were few because Chicago defenders rarely let Wild attackers get anywhere close to the crease.

Clutterbuck scored early in the third, taking a pass from Stephane Veilleux in the neutral zone, skating in behind the Chicago defence and beating Huet with a high wrist shot from the left circle.

The goal came after the normally supportive Wild crowd booed the home team off the ice more loudly after the second period than it did following the first.

Notes: Byfuglien hadn't scored in five games since a two-goal performance Dec. 12 against Colorado. ... Minnesota has allowed the first goal in 10 straight games, going 2-7-1 in that stretch. ... Chicago is 9-1-0 against the Northwest Division. Its lone loss was Oct. 27 in Minnesota. ... After playing four straight games, Minnesota RW Marian Gaborik was kept out of the lineup, and is not expected to play Monday in Calgary. The team continues to ease Gaborik back into the lineup after a lower body injury sidelined him for 27 games.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.