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NHL Roundup : Blackhawks' 12-0 Defeat Worst Ever

December 05, 1987|DAN HAFNER

The Chicago Blackhawks are easily the best team in the Norris Division at home. Unfortunately, they are easily the worst team in the division on the road.

The Blackhawks hit bottom Friday night at Detroit. With seldom-used wing Tim Higgins scoring his first hat trick in a 10-year National Hockey League career, the Red Wings handed the Blackhawks a 12-0 lacing. It was the worst defeat in the 61-year history of the Chicago franchise.

It also extended the Blackhawks' winless streak on the road to 13 games (0-12-1). The Blackhawks, who are 8-2-1 at home, won their first two road games but haven't won since.

Higgins, a defensive specialist, was on the ice for the opening face-off to defend against the Denis Savard line, a potent offensive force. Just 24 seconds later, Higgins scored his first goal since last March. It triggered a three-goal outburst in less than two minutes, and it became a 6-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Higgins' second goal came at 1:48, and he completed his hat trick midway through the second period.

The early outburst made it easy for Greg Stefan to record his first shutout since he beat the Blackhawks, 3-0, last March. He faced only 19 shots. The Blackhawks had only one shot on goal in the second period.

The Red Wings, in improving their record to 13-9-2, extended their lead in the division to five points.

New York Islanders 6, Washington 4--Mikko Makela recorded his first hat trick, getting two of the goals in the third period at Landover, Md., to give the Islanders the victory.

Makela's first goal was the second one in a three-goal rally in 4:12 of the first period, after the Capitals broke on top.

The Islanders improved their record to 17-7-1 and increased their lead in the Patrick Division to four points.

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