Chris Chelios says he's still trying to get used to playing with his new Detroit Red Wings teammates. The process won't take long, judging by early indications.
Chelios scored his first goal with Detroit and Sergei Fedorov had a goal and two assists Friday night as the Red Wings beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-1.
"It's a whole different game for me," Chelios said after his second game with the Red Wings, who obtained him Tuesday in a trade with Chicago. "I'm getting more confident every day, and these guys make that happen."
The perennial all-star defenseman was on the ice for three of Detroit's six goals and played almost 25 minutes over 24 shifts.
"He stands up well at both ends of the blue line," Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman said. "When he gets more comfortable he'll really be strong for us."
"I'd rather play with Chris Chelios than play against him," Detroit forward Martin Lapointe said. "He's going to be a great addition."
Chelios scored in a three-goal first period that made it a pretty easy night for the Red Wings.
"It was no match," Lightning coach Jacques Demers said. "This is a great team that just got greater. Now they've got hope they can come back and repeat."
"Their fourth line could be our second line most nights, and their defense with Chelios now is awesome."
Nicklas Lidstrom, Stacy Roest, Brendan Shanahan and Vyacheslav Kozlov also scored for the Central Division-leading Red Wings, who have won four of their last six games. The Red Wings began the day three points ahead of St. Louis.
Alexandre Daigle scored for the Lightning, who have lost seven of their last nine.
Chris Osgood made 23 saves in the Detroit net. Tampa Bay's Corey Schwab gave up four goals on 20 shots before he was replaced in the second period by Kevin Hodson, whom the Lightning obtained in the Tuesday trade wth Detroit that brought Wendel Clark to the Red Wings.
Hodson, still wearing the red and white pads, glove and blocker he used with Detroit, gave up two goals on 20 shots. He got a loud ovation from the sellout crowd in Joe Louis Arena when he replaced Schwab.
"I never expected that kind of reception," Hodson said.
"That tells you how the fans of Detroit are," said Demers, a former Red Wings coach. "He'll never forget that."
Fedorov continued his torrid scoring pace of late when he took a drop pass from Doug Brown and fired a shot from the top of the left circle that beat Schwab and gave Detroit a 1-0 lead at 7:59 of the first period.
Fedorov, who scored the game-winner in Detroit's 2-1 victory Wednesday over Buffalo, has scored goals in six of his last nine games and has 15 points in his last 12. The Red Wings are 17-2-2 when he scores a goal and 17-25-4 when he doesn't.
Chelios scored at 14:01 with Detroit skating 5-on-3. Steve Yzerman was behind the net when he spotted Chelios open between the circles, and Chelios converted his perfect pass.
Lidstrom's 100th career goal gave the Red Wings a 3-1 lead. Using Clark's screen on Schwab in front of the net, Lidstrom took a drop pass from Igor Larionov just inside the blue line and fired it into the goal.
Daigle got one back for the Lightning with a minute left in the period when he took a pass from Rob Zamuner and found the net between Osgood's left pad and the right goal post.
Schwab was finished shortly after giving up Roest's goal off a 2-on-1 break with Kris Draper 6:24 into the second period. Shanahan made it 5-1 with a shot from between the circles that beat Hodson at 13:33.
Kozlov shot Jamie Macoun's rebound past Hodson at the 10:25 mark of the third.
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