That’s all folks! Well, at least for the storied 87 year old rivalry between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings , and it ended in typical dramatic fashion. A back and forth contest between the two old rivals ended with the Blackhawks winning 3-2 in the shootout. This game will go down as the final regular season matchup with the Blackhawks and Red Wings as division rivals. Oh yeah, the Blackhawks clinched the Central-Division as well, although that was inevitable at this point.
The first period was an evenly matched tilt, that ended in a scoreless tie. The Hawks played the better period, even though their Power Play struggles continued, they mustered up a few good chances, and their Penalty Kill was lethal as usual.
The second period started out in similar fashion, until about 6 minutes in when Viktor Stalberg broke the scoreless tie, when he snuck a puck past Red Wings’ goaltender Jimmy Howard(who played spectacular). Not long after Stalbergs’ goal, the wheels seemed to come off the Hawks’ wagon. Stalberg took an odd holding penalty that looked more like a tackle. On this Power Play, Detroit solved the seemingly impenetrable Blackhawks Penalty Kill, with a Johan Franzen goal to tie the game at 1 goal a piece. Minutes later, Corey Emmerton scored to give the Wings a 2-1 lead, on a play where it looked as if Drew Miller held the stick of Michal Rozsival, leaving Hawks coach Joel Quenneville upset to say the least. Andrew Shaw was then called to the Penalty Box to serve a Too many men on the ice penalty, and it appeared as if the momentum was just piling up for the Red Wings. Luckily for the Hawks, they hung on to survive the second period, being down only 2-1.
The third period got off where the second period ended, sloppy hockey from the Blackhawks. The Wings were pushing the Hawks all over the ice, until less than 3 minutes remaining in regulation, as Jonathan Toews scored the equalizing goal, to even the game at 2-2. The third period would end in a 2-2 tie, and head into an indecisive overtime as both teams earned 1 point in the Western Conference standings. That point would be all the Hawks needed to mathematically clinch the Central Division title.
The shootout would be needed to determine the final game of the storied rivalry, and a lengthy one at that. The shootout itself extended into ovetime, but it was Brandon Saad who would score the decisive goal, as Corey Crawford denied Johan Franzen, to secure a 3-2 victory for the Blackhawks.
Jonathan Toews was all over the puck tonight, and generated several scoring chances and eventually converting the game tying goal in the 3rd period.
Corey Crawford played a solid game with a few great saves, but had some difficulties clearing the puck a few times.
Jimmy Howard played an excellent game in net for the Red Wings tonight, making several big saves.
Next up for the Blackhawks as they prep for a 1,2, or 3 seed in the Western Conference playoffs is a Sunday matinee against the St. Louis Blues. Puck Drop is set for 11:30 AM Central Time.