With a mere 28 seconds left in the 3rd and final period, Niklas Kronwall was called for a hooking penalty on Chicago RW Dustin Byfuglien. Instead of a 2 minute minor, Byfuglien was awarded a penalty shot and capitalized on the opportunity, beating Ty Conklin high stick side for a 3-2 Chicago lead.
The call on Kronwall was questionable and will likely spark some debate around the league as to the validity of it. Kronwall lifted the stick of Byfuglien at the last second but the officials saw it as a hook and awarded the penalty shot. The argument could possibly be made for a regular 2 minute penalty but it is hard to see any argument for a penalty shot at that point of the game.
Niklas Hjalmarsson opened the scoring just 16 seconds in and gave the Blackhawks an early lead and tallied his first NHL goal. Valtteri Filppula scored his 12th goal of the season at 10:59 of the first period. Jiri Hudler took the puck behind Cristobal Huet's net and backhanded a pass to Filppula through the crease and the subsequent game tying goal.
Henrik Zetterberg scored his 31st goal of the season on a rebound given up by Huet off of a Daniel Cleary shot. Zetterberg's goal came at 18:58 of the 2nd period and gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead heading into the final period of play.
Ben Eager scored for the Blackhawks after receiving a pass from Andrew Ladd in the neutral zone. Eager walked in relatively uncontested and put a shot past Conklin for a tied game at 8:53 of the third period.
Byfuglien's goal followed late in the third and gave the Blackhawks the lead. With the game winding down, Babcock pulled Conklin; resulting in Andrew Ladd's empty net goal.
Within 30 seconds, the Red Wings went from likely picking up a point for an overtime appearance to losing 4-2 in the final regular season home game. Ty Conklin stopped 22 of 25 shots in the losing effort as the Red Wings were outshot 26-23 in a defensive battle between the longtime rivals.
The Red Wings and Blackhawks face off again tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET on NBC to wrap up the regular season.
Casey's Red Wing of the Game: Henrik Zetterberg. Hank had a goal and registered 3 shots on goal in addition to his regular contributions on the defensive end and 18 minutes of ice time.
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