The Detroit Red Wings (51-21-10) concluded the 2008-09 regular season with a 3-0 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks (46-24-12), falling for the second time in less than 24 hours to the Hawks. The loss marked just the third time this season that Detroit has been shut out.
Andrew Ladd opened the scoring 7:29 into the first period. Teammate Brent Seabrook fed the puck to Ladd, who fired a shot from the slot. The Blackhawks' second goal came on just their ninth shot on goal when Jonathan Toews poked the puck past netminder Chris Osgood after driving to the net at 11:29 in the first frame. The marker was his 34th this season, a team high. Dave Bolland posted a power-play tally at 4:50 in the final stanza of the game to pad the Chicago lead.
Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin was a stud in today's game, making 37 saves in his 41st career shutout win. Between the strong goaltending and the fact Chicago has gone 6-0-1 in the last seven games, they have to be feeling good as the Blackhawks head into the playoffs for the first time since 2002. They will face Calgary in the Western Conference quarterfinals.
The Wings are now a discouraging 2-5-1 in their last eight games, which does little to inspire confidence as they head into the postseason. However, Detroit did play without Marian Hossa, Kris Draper, Nicklas Lidstrom and Andreas Lilja in today's loss on the road. Plus, we do know the Wings find another gear once they head into the playoffs.
Christy's Red Wing of the Game: Valtteri Filppula
|2008 - Valtteri Filppula||80||12||28||40||9||42||1||0||1||1||129||9.3|
We will know by tonight who and when the Wings will face in the first round and we will be sure to update WIM with the schedule/opponent as soon as we find out.
If St. Louis pulls out a win over Colorado today (they have a 1-0 lead as I write this), the Blues will jump to the sixth seed. The win would push Columbus down to No. 7 and then slide Anaheim down to the last spot. However, if St. Louis loses or sends the game into overtime, the seeds would be Columbus (6), Anaheim (7) and St. Louis (8).