CHICAGO -- Defenseman Nick Leddy scored his first goal of the season, and it couldn't have come at a better time. He netted the winning shot at 2:45 of overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks set a team record with their sixth win in a row while defeating the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Sunday.
"You really can't describe it," Leddy said regarding his feelings about scoring the game-winner in front of 21,607 fans at the United Center. "It's an unbelievable feeling and one that I'll never forget."
Leddy took a perfect crossing pass from Viktor Stalberg, wound up in the left circle and set sail with a slap shot that caromed off the stick of Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard and into the net for the deciding score.
"It was great, a huge goal for us," said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville. "Viktor and those guys didn't get a ton of ice time in that game, but they (Stalberg and Leddy) both have some great speed and quickness and broke up the play, Viktor made a nice play and it was a great shot.
"It was off his stick and it was nice to see him get a game-winner. But he's had a real good start to our season. I'm real happy with Nick and his contribution."
Chicago is 6-0-0, the best start in team history, breaking the former record of 5-0-0 set in 1971-72.
"Everybody deserves credit," Quenneville said. "The guys' preparation going into the season and commitment to playing a real team game, everybody's contributing, everybody's efforts are where they want to be. ... We're pleased."
Once again, Corey Crawford shined in goal for Chicago, his fifth start in the last nine days. Crawford turned away 29 of 30 shots on goal, while Detroit counterpart Howard stopped 25 of 27 in the losing effort.
"It feels great (to be 6-0)," Crawford said. "Everyone's playing great hockey right now, and it seems like no one is taking a night off. Our game hasn't changed, it doesn't matter the score, doesn't matter where we are, what period it is, it seems like our game has stayed the same."
Crawford has played some of the best hockey in his career during the current streak.
"I feel really good, but also I'm getting a lot of help," Crawford said. "Our D men are playing real well right now, and also our forwards are coming to help out our D back there, too. It just seems like everyone is doing sacrifices to get back there and help out."
After starting the season with four of their first six games on the road, the Blackhawks now head out on their longest road trip of the season, a six-game string that includes stops at Minnesota, Vancouver, Calgary, San Jose, Phoenix and Nashville.
"We're going to take it one game at a time," Quenneville said. "We're going into some tough buildings, you know, some real tough buildings. Let's not look too far ahead, but it's a tough six-game trek.
"This is a playoff-type of season and that's basically how it'll be approached."
Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith joked that he didn't even know which team is the next opponent, which drew a laugh from Quenneville.
"We've got six opponents on the road," Quenneville said. "It's a schedule they probably never looked at much going into camp. They probably only knew we have 10 out of 12 (games on the road) and that we know we've got to bring our passport."
Chicago wasted little time getting on the board, as Keith netted his first goal of the season with a slap shot on a power play at 2:24 of the first period (assisted by Brent Seabrook and Marian Hossa). The man advantage opportunity came as a result of a two-minute holding penalty against Detroit's Kent Huskins at 1:45.
Detroit right wing Johan Franzen tied the score at 1-1 at 4:30 in the second period. After playing somewhat sluggishly in the first period, the Red Wings were more aggressive, yet couldn't take additional advantage of Chicago's three penalties in the period.
"(The second period) was huge," Quenneville said. "It was spectacular (penalty) kills. Getting that 5 on 3 was special. ... We dodged a big bullet in that period and to me, that was the key to the game."
Detroit, which falls to 2-3, had 10:34 of power play time in the game, yet wound up 0-for-5, something that ate at losing goalie Howard.
"We had our chances and the puck just didn't go in for us on the power play," Howard said. "It's a frustrating loss. I thought we deserved to win today, but it's funny how this game works sometimes."
Added Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, "I thought they out-skated us, but then we really dug in and got playing well, and had every opportunity to win the game. I would like our power play to score, for sure. I thought it was slow and not confident. I thought their penalty killing was really good, but we definitely have to be better on the power play."
NOTES: Coming into Sunday's game, Chicago had been held scoreless in just one of its first 15 periods (Jan. 24 at Dallas, first period). With two scoreless periods Sunday, the Hawks have been shut out from scoring in just three of their last 19 periods now. ... Detroit was 0-4-2 against Chicago last season. ... Even with the loss, Detroit still has a commanding lead in the all-time series against Chicago with a 363-265-84-10 record. ... With the start of their six-game road trip on Wednesday at Minnesota, the Blackhawks don't return to their United Center home until Feb. 12 when they face Anaheim. That game starts a seven-game homestand, their longest of the season, and 10 of 12 at the United Center. ... Sunday marked the 58th anniversary of a rather dubious mark set by Detroit's Hall of Famer Gordie Howe, who took a record 19 shots on goal -- yet failed to score even once. ... Detroit returns home for seven of its next nine games, starting with Tuesday's game against the Dallas Stars. During that stretch, the Red Wings will also play St. Louis, at Columbus, Calgary, at St. Louis, Edmonton, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Anaheim.