DETROIT (AP) — The offensively challenged and banged-up Detroit Red Wings proved to the defending Stanley Cup champions that they're still tough to beat.
Darren Helm scored on Detroit's sixth attempt in the shootout and then Jonas Gustavsson stopped Andrew Shaw's shot, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.
"We're a little depleted, but we still have a great team and we showed that," said Patrick Eaves, who had the second of his team's three goals in the shootout and a game-tying goal in the first period. "It was nice to get rewarded for playing well."
The Blackhawks faced Detroit for the first time since beating the Red Wings in overtime in Game 7 of their second-round series last year to complete a comeback from a 3-1 deficit. They are only scheduled to play one more time in the regular season because the Red Wings were moved to the Eastern Conference this season as part of the NHL's realignment.
"Any time you play the Red Wings, it's going to be an intense game given the rivalry and what's happened in the past," Chicago's Patrick Kane said. "They're playing through some injuries and haven't had any luck as of late in that area, but it's still a dangerous team. Sometimes you get these young guys that come up from the minors, they want to prove themselves and prove they belong."
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews scored on his team's first attempt in the shootout and Patrick Sharp scored on the second before Kane was stopped with a chance to win a game the Blackhawks led 2-0 in the first period.
"They played better as the game went along," Toews said.
Gustavsson, playing for the injured Jimmy Howard, made 31 saves in his first game in nearly a month.
"It was a good test and I felt good," said Gustavsson, who has been on injured reserve three times this season with a groin injury. "I didn't feel any pain."
Corey Crawford gave up four goals on the first 17 shots he faced and finished with 27 saves for the Blackhawks.
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