For the second time in a week, the veteran center scored a big goal and the Blackhawks rallied to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.
Trailing 2-0 late in the second period and in the midst of an 0-for-15 power-play drought, Patrick Sharp scored off a goalmouth scramble with a man advantage, and the scoring floodgates opened for the Hawks. Brent Seabrook added a goal a minute later to tie it 2-2 and set up Lang's third-period winner.
"Sharpie started us off at the end of the second, and then we got another big goal, so we tied it up in a couple of minutes," said Lang, who played the last two seasons in Detroit. "Whenever something like that happens, you carry the momentum into the third. I think we just sort of caught them surprised a little bit. After that you just get confident and keep playing, and we got the third goal."
Lang's blast from the right circle on the power play with 9 minutes 19 seconds remaining in the third hit Wings goalie Dominik Hasek in the shoulder and found its way into the net for Lang's second goal of the season.
In last Saturday's victory over Detroit at the United Center, Lang tied the game in the final minutes, and the Hawks went on to win in a shootout.
"We've won two games, and he has scored two big goals," Hawks coach Denis Savard said of Lang. "That's what those type of players do. Veteran guys like him have experience, and they've been around for a long time. And he has scored some big goals in his career. It was nice to see that one go in."
The Hawks (2-2) killed off five Detroit power plays thanks in part to another strong goaltending effort from Nikolai Khabibulin, who made 34 saves.
"Our penalty-killing was tremendous," Savard said. "[Detroit] is a great power-play machine, and we were able to not allow a goal against. Great goaltending by Khabibulin."
The Red Wings took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period on a goal by Henrik Zetterberg, his third of season. Zetterberg took a pass from behind the net from Tomas Holmstrom and banked in a shot off the skate of Hawks defenseman Brent Sopel.
Detroit (3-1-1) made it 2-0 just 1 1/2 minutes later when Kris Draper fired a slap shot from inside the blue line. Khabibulin got a piece of it, but the puck trickled behind him into the net.
Sharp then scored with 2:37 remaining in the second, assisted by rookies Patrick Kane—his third of the season—and Jonathan Toews.
"We know we have a good team," Sharp said. "We just have to have games like this to prove it. We were down 2-0 early in a loud building against a good team, and we were able to fight back. It's nice a power play got us back in the game and even won it for us. This win is going to go a long way for our confidence."
Seabrook's goal was assisted by Lang on a wrist shot that floated over the shoulder of Hasek. Seabrook also had an assist on Lang's game-winner.
Still, it was Sharp's goal that jump-started a Hawks offense that had five goals in three games going into Friday night.
"Before this game we had been generating a lot of chances on [the power play], but that's not good enough," Sharp said. "We flat-out put it on ourselves to get a couple of goals, and we were lucky enough to do it."
One-timersDefenseman Andrei Zyuzin made his Blackhawks debut, and Jim Vandermeer was a healthy scratch. … The attendance was 17,696, the fourth straight home game the Red Wings have failed to sell out.