The Chicago Blackhawks coughed up a one goal lead on their hated rival, Detroit Red Wings, early in the third period. The rivalry required an overtime period to crown a winner, and Blackhawks’ defenseman, Nick Leddy put the puck past Red Wings goaltender, Jimmy Howard, to secure the win for the Blackhawks. The win puts the Hawks record at 6-0-0, good for 12 points, and the best start to a regular season in the franchise’s storied 86-year history.
The Blackhawks got off to a ferocious start in the first period, practically owning the puck throughout most of the first 20 minutes. The Hawks took the lead on the power-play, with Duncan Keith‘s first goal of the season, early in the period. The Red Wings could not seem to keep the puck for any extended period of time. Although both teams ended the period at 11 shots apiece, the Blackhawks maintained a 1-0 league over the Red Wings.
The Red Wings got off to a much faster, more aggressive start in the second period, and as a result, the Blackhawks got off their game and played an undisciplined 2nd period. Detroit played more aggressive, and to compensate, the tired Hawks, who were playing their second game in 24 hours, become undisciplined and committed a ridiculous four 2-minute minor penalties, in the second period alone. Amazingly, the Blackhawks killed off everyone of the Red Wing power-plays, even keeping the well-rested Wings shot-less on two man-advantage opportunities. Forwards Michael Frolik, and Marcus Kruger were the two key penalty-killers for the Hawks, as well as the two biggest thorns, in the Red Wings’ side. The Hawks stumbled through the second period and miraculously held onto their 1-0 lead over Detroit.
As the puck dropped for the third period, the Red Wings, likely motivated by the humiliation of their powerless power-play, came out of the gate on a mission. It was the Red Wings this time, who were controlling the puck and generating all of the scoring chances, early in the third period. Hawks’ goaltender, Corey Crawford, did all he could to weather the storm of Red Wings shots on goal, before Johan Franzen went 5-hole on Crawford, to tie the game at 1-1. After tying the game, the Red Wings committed a pair of penalties from Jonathan Ericsson and Henrik Zetterberg, that the Blackhawks failed to capitalize on, sending the game to overtime.
In the overtime period, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before Detroit won this game, as it appeared that fatigue was setting in for the Blackhawks. However, it was the Hawks who left the United Center with two points instead of one as Nick Leddy buried the puck past Jimmy Howard to give the Hawks the win and the franchise best 6-0-0 start to the regular season.
The Blackhawks get a much deserved breather, as they don’t play again until Wednesday, when they head up north to take on the Minnesota Wild. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM Central Time.
Corey Crawford played yet another strong game in net, stopping 29 out of 30 Red Wings’ shots on goal.
Michael Frolik ‘s penalty killing excellence so far this season, is a huge reason for the Hawks record-setting success, especially tonight.
Jimmy Howard played well enough to help Detroit leave Chicago with at least a point, although after the 1st period, he wasn’t heavily tested the rest of the night.
On two consecutive Detroit power-plays in the 2nd period, the Blackhawks actually out-shot the Red Wings 3-2!
Red Wings center, Damien Brunner continues to look like part of the “next-wave” of Red Wings superstars as he continues his great start to the young season by adding one assist.
Jonathan Toews continued his strong season, although tonight was the first game where he was under 50% in the face-off circle(48%).