DETROIT -- Reports of the death of the rivalry between the Blackhawks and Red Wings were greatly exaggerated.
The teams hooked up for another entertaining hockey game -- something the Original Six franchises have been doing since 1926 -- when they took the ice Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena.
NHL realignment sent the Wings to the Eastern Conference -- meaning only two matchups per regular season -- but the scarcity of meetings didn't diminish the festivities in the first battle of the 2013-14 campaign.
Darren Helm scored the game-winner in the sixth round of the shootout to give the Wings a heart-thumping 5-4 victory over the Hawks in the latest chapter of the rivalry.
"Both teams still know what it means to play one another," Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said after the game. "It might add to it that we see each other less often. (Wednesday night) it was maybe a bit of a slower start but the intensity definitely picked up and we saw the type of game that we're used to out of them. It's frustrating we couldn't find a way to win."
In regulation, Tomas Tatar, Patrick Eaves, Gustav Nyquist and Kyle Quincey had goals for the Wings while Henrik Zetterberg added three assists and Justin Abdelkader two to provide the offense for goaltender Jonas Gustavsson.
The Hawks raced to a two-goal lead early but were loose defensively and couldn't hold it. They eventually had to rally themselves on a Marcus Kruger third-period goal to earn a point and close to within three of the idle Ducks in the Western Conference.
"We weren't very good," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "They were the harder-working team. Certainly we'll take a point because we didn't play well enough or hard enough."
Marian Hossa, Andrew Shaw and Patrick Sharp also scored for the Hawks and Patrick Kane had two assists but Corey Crawford suffered the loss in goal.
It marked the 17th time the Hawks failed to score in overtime this season, almost unfathomable considering the skill players they have and the open ice with which to work during four-on-four play.
"We definitely should be picking up more points in extra time with the amount of skill we have," Crawford said. "We're just letting them slip away. Even though we were down, we picked up our game in the third and still had some chances to win in the third and in the overtime. It just sucks to lose another point."
The team the Wings put on the ice didn't much resemble the one that threw a scare into the Hawks in the Western Conference semifinals last spring before succumbing in overtime of Game 7. Injuries have decimated the Wings, who were without Jimmy Howard, Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen, among others.
Still, it was the Wings who had the Hawks on their heels for much of the game.
"I felt like we were a step behind -- they were skating better," Hawks winger Marian Hossa said. "It was a great hockey, lots of intensity, lots of tight battles (and) small holds and the referee couldn't see it. That's how it is against this team -- they're smart."
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