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Datsyuk, Schneider each net goal, two assists to sink Blackhawks

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Detroit Red Wings have the highest point
total in the NHL. They look even better against the Chicago
Blackhawks.

Pavel Datsyuk and Mathieu Schneider each had a goal and two
assists, and Detroit defeated the Chicago 5-3 on Sunday night for
its third straight win. The Red Wings have 93 points, one more than
Carolina.

Newly acquired defenseman Cory Cross, Brendan Shanahan and
Henrik Zetterberg also scored for Detroit, which has won five of
six and 11 of 13.

"It's been a lot of fun, obviously, playing on this team and
with this organization," Schneider said. "Everything feels so
easy right now, everything is rolling.

"Everyone's playing at the top of their game right now and we
feel like we have the puck all the time and we feel like we're
going to win every single night. It's a good feeling to have."

The Red Wings built a 3-0 lead in the opening 6:57 and beat
Chicago for the sixth time this season and seventh in a row
overall. The Blackhawks haven't defeated Detroit since Dec. 28,
2003.

Chris Osgood made 17 saves as the Red Wings followed up a 6-4
victory Saturday night and swept the home-and-home series.

Goals by Mikael Holmqvist and Patrick Sharp trimmed Detroit's
lead to 3-2, and Mark Cullen scored in the third period to cut the
advantage to 4-3. But the Blackhawks still lost their third
straight and eighth in 10.

"You've got to give them credit," Detroit coach Mike Babcock
said. "They hung in there. They kept coming. They're in their
building. They lost last night and they're proud guys."

Nikolai Khabibulin started in goal for Chicago, but was pulled
for the second straight game after allowing three goals on five
shots. Craig Anderson came on in relief and gave up two goals on 23
shots.

"That's one of the worst things, to be pulled out of two games
in a row," Khabibulin said. "I don't want to make any excuses.
The last two games I've played pretty bad."

Cross opened the scoring at 1:49 during his first shift with the
Red Wings. He pinched in up the slot, took Robert Lang's centering
pass and fired a high shot past Khabibulin's glove side.

Cross was acquired from Pittsburgh on Thursday.

"I was open, and when you're open with these guys, they'll find
you," Cross said. "You can read my stats and I'm not a goal
scorer. The last thing I thought was I'm going to score on my first
shift in a Red Wings uniform."

Cross' goal was his third of the season and 34th career.

Shanahan made it 2-0 at 4:06 with his 30th goal, becoming the
10th NHL player to reach the mark in 12 seasons. Shanahan surprised
Khabibulin on the short side from a sharp angle with a quick shot
after Datsyuk dropped a pass back from behind the net.

"I wouldn't call it a special milestone," Shanahan said.
"It's nice, but it's kind of what I expect of myself. Once you get
it, you want to get more."

Datsyuk stretched Detroit's lead to 3-0 only 1:51 later. After
slipping behind Chicago's defense and taking a feed from Schneider,
Datsyuk faked a backhand shot and beat Khabibulin with a forehand.

Holmqvist cut it to 3-1 with 5 minutes left in the first. He
converted a rebound of Milan Bartovic's shot, set up by a Detroit
turnover.

Sharp's goal at 5:26 of the second period closed it to 3-2, but
Zetterberg's power-play score at 3:40 of the third gave Detroit a
two-goal advantage.

Cullen's deflection with 9:34 left in the third made it to 4-3,
before Schneider completed the scoring with 7:06 left.

"You could really sense some desperation in their game after we
got the third goal," Schneider said. "They came at us hard."

Game notes
Datsyuk has goals in four straight games and a 10-game
point streak. During that span he has six goals and 12 assists. ...
Shanahan has four goals and five assists in four games. ...
Schneider has 20 goals and 31 assists. The 20 goals matches his
career high, set in 1993-94 with Montreal. He's one short of his
career high of 52, set the same season. ... Red Wings RW Mikael
Samuelsson missed his fifth game with a wrist injury. ...
Khabibulin started his third straight game after returning from a
left knee sprain on Thursday. He was replaced Saturday in Detroit
after allowing five goals. ... Sharp has five goals in eight games
after not scoring in 24 straight following a Dec. 5 trade from
Philadelphia.