Legace, pressed into action in place of Joseph, made 28 saves, and Brendan Shanahan scored a tiebreaking goal in the second period Friday night to lead the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Legace didn’t find out he was going to play until early in the afternoon.
“You’ve got to be prepared,” said Legace, who played for the first time since Dec. 6. “You never know what’s going to happen. Hockey’s a funny game.”
Ray Whitney, returning from a groin injury, and Nicklas Lidstrom also scored for the Red Wings, who won their eighth straight at home and improved to 10-1-1-1 in their last 13. Henrik Zetterberg finished with two assists.
Legace made a timely stop on Mark Bell, who shot while coming down the slot 5:30 into the third period.
“I kind of slipped. My knee kind of gave out on me,” Legace said. “I kind of slumped back and it hit my pad and slid past the post. I was lucky.”
His performance didn’t surprise Detroit coach Dave Lewis.
“Manny has the ability to come off the bench at any time and come out and play well,” Lewis said.
Shanahan’s goal with 6:06 left in the second period gave Detroit a 2-1 lead. He scored on a one-timer from the slot off a pass from Henrik Zetterberg.
Shanahan moved into a tie for 18th place on the career goals list with Michel Goulet at 548.
Lidstrom added a short-handed goal with 6:06 left in the third period.
Henry scored his first career NHL goal with Chicago goaltender Steve Passmore pulled with 10.7 seconds remaining.
Chicago had a 17-3 advantage in shots in the first period, but the game was tied at 1-all.
“To come out of that period and not be a couple of goals ahead was tough,” the Blackhawks’ Nathan Dempsey said. “We knew they were going to pick it up in the second period.”
McLean gave Chicago a 1-0 lead with 5:03 remaining with a power-play goal, beating Legace as he cut across the slot from right to left.
“That’s the way we have to play, especially the emotional level,” McLean said.
But Whitney tied it for Detroit with 1:42 left, tipping in a shot from the point by Jiri Fischer.
Legace’s best stop of the period was a glove save on a rebound attempt by Scott Nichol.
“It was great,” said Legace of the first period. “It got me into the game early.”
Detroit C Steve Yzerman, who had an assist, also returned from a groin injury. Yzerman missed six games and Whitney had missed 15 of the last 16. … Chicago was without D Bryan Berard (groin). … Detroit sent forward Kevin Miller to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. … Before the game, there was a moment of silence for former Blackhawks’ defenseman and coach Keith Magnuson, who was killed in a car accident near Toronto on Monday. … Detroit’s Kris Draper left the game in the third period after taking a high stick to the forehead and returned after getting 11 stitches. … Lidstrom’s goal was his first since Nov. 22, a span of 13 games. … Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk saw his six-game goal streak come to an end Brett Hull’s 12-game pointstreak was snapped.