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Samuelsson stars again for Detroit

THE Detroit Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals on Tuesday.

After scoring the game-winner in Sunday's series opener, Detroit's Mikael Samuelsson again emerged the hero, finding the back of the net 5:14 into overtime, to tighten the Stanley Cup champions' grip on the best-of-seven series.

Brian Rafalski scored another for the Red Wings, while teammate Dan Cleary, who scored two goals on Sunday, also capitalized on a breakaway during the second period.

Chicago captain Jonathan Toews scored twice for the Blackhawks, his second tying the game late in the third period, but Red Wing goaltender Chris Osgood proved otherwise impenetrable, turning away 37 shots.

"They are a fast, young enthusiastic team that gave us everything we could handle tonight and in game one," Osgood told reporters afterward.

After being smothered by Chicago in their 2-5 loss in the opener, the Blackhawks found room to manoeuvre on Tuesday and dominated play for much of the night.

Patrick Kane, held without a shot on goal in game one, had several chances on Tuesday night, including a sharp wrist shot on a partial break in the first period, but was again unable to convert.

"It was a brutal loss today," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville told reporters.

"We did a lot of right things, still can't be satisfied with certain things, but we have a couple of days to gather some momentum," he said, adding that his team would focus on improving on the small tasks, rather than dwelling on the two-game deficit.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock said the Red Wings would relish the two days of rest before the series resumes tomorrow.

"I didn't think we had any legs or any pop tonight whatsoever," Babcock said. "We had good will and good determination but no legs."

The series, which has brought together two of the NHL's "Original Six" franchises dating back to the 1920s, continues with game three in Chicago on Friday.


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