Detroit — It took a while longer than anticipated, but for the Red Wings it was worth the wait.
The Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-2, Thursday in a game that was delayed 45 minutes as the Blackhawks had mechanical issues with their plane.
The Blackhawks didn't arrive to Joe Louis Arena until after 7:40 p.m. — the game was supposed to begin at 7:30 p.m. — making for an awfully quick turnaround.
For the Red Wings, it was matter of doing a lot of waiting around. Call it a hockey rain delay, so to speak.
"We don't really go through stuff like that," forward Justin Abdelkader said. "I'm definitely not a fan of it. For the most part we did a good job staying ready. Both teams came out a little sluggish but we got better as the as period went on."
So what did the Red Wings do during the delay?
"Watched the start of the Tigers game," Abdelkader said. "Just kind of hung out. You don't want to warm up too early. Guys were doing different things, making sure everyone was ready."
Tomas Tatar opened the Red Wings' scoring. Tomas Nosek and Andrej Nestrasil also scored for the Red Wings — who improved to 2-0-1 in the exhibition season. Nosek and Nestrasil each had assists on each other's goals, and Abdelkader assisted on both linemates goal.
"Both are really skilled and skate," Abdelkader said. "They can see the ice well. They're just smart with the puck and can make plays."
Nosek, signed from the Czech Republic this past summer, has been a steady player throughout training camp.
"He's smart, confident, a good player," Babcock said. "He has skill. He's a big body. I like him a lot."
Bryan Bickell and Garret Ross scored for the Blackhawks.
Ross scored when the Blackhawks pulled the goalie with 50 seconds left in the third period, cutting the lead to 3-2.
But the Red Wings held on, despite good Blackhawks pressure against goalie Jimmy Howard (26 saves).
Bickell muscled his way to the net and slipped a shot past Howard at 6:28 of the third period.
But Nestrasil answered, scoring his first goal at 11:52 of the third period, off a nice feed from Nosek, giving the Red Wings another two-goal lead.
Tatar gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead at 18:14 of the first period.
With the teams skating four players per side, Tatar scored his second goal of the exhibition season in strange fashion.
Jonathan Ericsson skated the puck into the zone, then flipped a pass to Tatar, who was charging to the net.
The puck glanced off Tatar, then bounced past Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta, dove to smother the puck but it was just eluded him.
The Red Wings had two power plays in the second period, the Blackhawks one, but none of the man-advantages generated any serious threat.
Nosek gave the Red Wings a two-goal lead with his first goal at 29 seconds of the third period.
Nosek got the puck in front of the crease, and slipped a backhand shot past goalie Michael Leighton, who was without his stick.
"I felt good, it was a real good game for us," Nosek said. "It was most important we won. I scored a goal, so I'm very happy."