The first period started exactly how the Chicago Blackhawks wanted the game to start. Marcus Kruger feathered a nice pass the Michael Frolik which caused an interference penalty. The Hawks powerplay which all of a sudden has caught fire won a faceoff and when Jonathan Toews crashed the net, Marian Hossa tapped in the rebound. The Hawks looked like the better team for the first half of the period then the Captain took a bad penalty when he was called for goalie interference. The tide for the period was officially shifted and even though the Hawks stopped the 2 minute powerplay Detroit found some energy and it finally paid off with 1:09 left in the period when Brendan Smith made a nice play on the boards and eventually the puck found Patrick Eaves stick and his rebound tied up the game at one. The Hawks quick start was nullified so would they come out of the intermission still playing with desperation?
The second period was all there for the Hawks with two powerplays at the beginning of the period but even though the Hawks had their chances including Jonathan Toews in on Howard they came up empty. The Hawks after not getting the lead also witnessed the tie game disappear on a harmless shot by Joakim Andersson that Crawford totally whiffed on to give the Wings a 2-1 lead. Crawford was solid for most of the period but just like last years playoffs the incredibly soft goals are back breakers and this one hurt really bad. The goal came with half the game left on the clock so it was up to the Hawks to man up and tie this game up. The Hawks had to fight off a powerplay late in the period to keep the game 2-1 Wings going to the third period.
With the season possibly 20 minutes from ending the Blackhawks came out and settled the Blackhawk faithful nerves down some with a Michal Handzus game tying goal 51 seconds into the third period. The goal was set up by a great pinch by Niklas Hjalmarsson and some sloppy play by the Red Wings defense in their own end to quickly tie up the contest. Five minutes later Jonathan Toews dug out the puck and threw it out in front that Bryan Bickell was able to out muscle the Wings defense to put the puck in the back of the net for a 3-2 lead. The question the refs moment of the night came when Michael Frolik after a very good shot block was in on Howard and was slashed and the refs called a penalty shot. Frolik buried the penalty shot and 10 minutes into the third period the Hawks went from down one entering the period to a 4-2 lead with 10 minutes left to play. Damien Brunner got it closer 4-3 with 51.7 seconds left but after some very nervous moments including a Johnny Oduya icing with 22 seconds left the Hawks finished the game with a 4-3 win. Here’s a look at the game winner.
-This was the first playoff win in Detroit by the Hawks since 1992
-Michael Frolik now holds the NHL all-time record for most playoff penalty shots scored with 2, he also was the last NHL player to score a playoff penalty shot.
-Crawford was blasted on Twitter for his whiff but brought all the fans back with his good saves down the stretch with the third period lead.
-Handzus has had two very good games in a row after looking like he didn’t belong on the ice earlier in the series.
-Game #7 is Wednesday night at the United Center puck drop is 7pm
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