Feb 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) is showered with spray from Chicago Blackhawks right wing Ryan Hartman (38) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
In a very tight, back-and-forth affair, the Detroit Red Wings were able to sneak out of the Windy City with a 3-2 shootout win as well as a sweep of the 2-game season series with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Right after the opening faceoff, the Red Wings caused a flurry of chances but were denied by Corey Crawford. The initial pace was of feverish proportions, but neither team was quite able to solve the other team’s goaltender.
Half-way through the 1st period, Bryan Bickell took a poor slashing penalty to put the Red Wings’ league-leading Power Play on the ice against the Hawks’ league-leafing Penalty Kill, the matchup everyone was waiting for. Near the end of the man-advantage for the Wings, Marian Hossa connected with Brandon Saad, who nearly found the back of the net, on what would have been a short-handed goal, but the Hawks were happy enough to kill the penalty. Saad was able to draw a penalty of his own, on the short-handed chance, as Justin Abdelkader hooked him.
The Hawks were able to pepper Jimmy Howard with shots, but to no avail. After Detroit killed the penalty, the Hawks attack kept coming, but Howard was up to the task. After a late 1st period puck duel between Marian Hossa and Pavel Datsyuk which was a great show of world class hockey, Kyle Quincey would go on to commit a hi-sticking penalty on Ryan Hartman.
The period would end with no score and the Hawks on the Power Play after dominating the Red Wings in scoring chances as evidenced by their 72.7% share of Corsi Percentage.
The 2nd period would begin with Detroit finishing off the Hawks’ remaining Power Play. Neither team would be able to establish any dominance through the early going of the 2nd. Recent call-up, Teemu Pulkkinen, would show that he’s still an NHL greenhorn when he hooked Brad Richards at 6:29 of the middle period. Detroit would kill off the penalty, giving the Hawks their 3rd fruitless Power Play of the night.
After a pair of missed golden chances from Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw, respectively, it would be the Red Wings who would draw first blood, with Tomas Tatar’s goal at 16:10. The Hawks would quickly retaliate, 39 seconds later, when Brandon Saad’s goal would tie the game at 1 goal apiece.
The Hawks got off to a sloppy start to the 3rd period. unable to get out of their own zone, they were resorting to dumping the puck out just to get line changes in the early going. The Hawks caught a break when Riley Sheaahan’s shot rang off the goal post, keeping the game tied at 1-1. Detroit would once again head to the penalty box when Justin Abdelkader interfered with Patrick Sharp to give the Hawks yet another Power Play. Yet again, it would be of the fruitless variety, as Detroit would kill off it’s 4th penalty of the night.
However, just like in the 2nd period, the Hawks had an answer, as Kris Versteeg showed some grit and scored a greasy goal, with some help from Jonathan Toews, to tie the game, just 43 seconds after Helm’s goal, to tie the game at 2-2.
That would be how regulation would end, and rightfully so, as the evenly matched game would find it’s way into overtime.
With chances from both teams, both goaltenders were up to the task and the game would head to the shootout.
Pavel Datsyuk shot first and was denied.
Johnathan Toews was first for the Hawks and he scored,
Gustav Nyquist was next for Detroit and he scored.
Tomas Tatar gave the Red Wings the lead as he scored.
Patrick Sharp was up next and failed to score, securing the loss for the Hawks, as the Red Wings were able to best the Hawks by a score of 3-2, in the shootout.
The Hawks had their chances and they didn’t capitalize on enough of them. They got a point, which is nice, but still disappointing. Next up for the Hawks is the Colorado Avalanche, who will be in town Friday as the Hawks look to get back on track. The Hawks have recorded at least a point in every game on the homestand, so far, which is not too shabby, but they still need to be better. This won’t cut it in the playoffs.