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Huet shuts out Red Wings as Blackhawks soar ahead

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Chicago Blackhawks grabbed sole possession of first place in the Central Division with a 3-0 victory over the injury-hit Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

Blackhawks goalie Cristobal Huet recorded his second consecutive shutout, stopping all 20 shots, to help Chicago win their fourth successive game.

"Even though they were missing a lot of guys, and key guys, they've been finding ways to win the past couple of weeks," Huet told reporters. "We knew it was going to be a tight game. We were very disciplined and it paid off."

The Red Wings were without leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg, centers Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula, winger Dan Cleary and defenseman Niklas Kronwall all through injury.

""They're missing a lot of guys. You could see they were pretty tired," Blackhawks' Brian Campbell said.

"It's a game we needed to win nonetheless, so it's important to get two points and keep climbing up the standings."

The win pushed the Blackhawks two points ahead of the Nashville Predators, with Detroit third following their second consecutive loss.

Duncan Keith's first-period power-play goal opened the scoring for Chicago with Campbell and Dustin Byfuglien adding scores in the second period.

"This was more of a good team effort, forwards and everybody helping out, playing solid defense," Byfuglien said.

The shutout was the second in seven games for the Red Wings, who host Chicago on Wednesday.

"Chicago didn't give us many opportunities," Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart said. "They were a step quicker all night because they have a lot of speed. Because of our injuries, our offense has been struggling lately."

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Patrick Johnston)