MacDonald stellar, but not enough--Red Wings 2, Blackhawks 3 OT

The Red Wings took the ice at home to play their Central Division rival Chicago Blackhawks. The Wings were without Jimmy Howard and Pavel Datsyuk, but welcomed Johan Franzen back to the line-up. 

Jonathan Toews put the Blackhawks on the board first on a funky play in front of Joey MacDonald. Troy Brouwer put the puck through Ruslan Salei and on MacDonald from the blueline. MacDonald was caught off guard and gave up a rebound right to Toews, giving the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead at 2:54.

Todd Bertuzzi's night ended early after he landed an elbow to the head of Ryan Johnson. Bertuzzi was given a 5-minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct (more on this later). The Blackhawks ended up on the power play but a penalty to Marian Hossa made it 4-on-4. 

While each team had four men, Nicklas Lidstrom fired a slapshot from the blueline past Corey Crawford for his 15th goal of the season and in the process he became the oldest defenseman to tally 60 points. 

Follow the jump for the rest of the game, analysis, video, and shot charts. 

Darren Helm was hit with a tripping minor after diving for and knocking a loose puck out of the way of Troy Brouwer. Problem was, Brouwer tripped over Helm and the Red Wings' top penalty killer was in the box. The Blackhawks didn't take long (10 seconds) scoring on the power play as Patrick Kane fed the puck across the ice to Brent Seabrook for a shot that even Tomas Kopecky wouldn't have missed.

With Niklas Hjalmarsson in the box for high-sticking, Henrik Zetterberg's attempted pass met Chris Campoli's skate and went into the back of the net for his 23rd goal of the season. Later in the third, Tomas Kopecky kicked a puck past MacDonald, but it was immediately waved off. 

With about 4 seconds left in regulation, Zetterberg was whistled for hooking Kane and the Blackhawks had a power play to take into the overtime period. With a 4-on-3 advantage and plenty of open space, the Blackhawks' power play was able to find a game-winning goal off the stick of Marian Hossa. 

The Red Wings picked up a point, giving them 98 on the season. Chicago pulled within 8 of Detroit with 7 games to play. Detroit next plays on Wednesday against the St. Louis Blues, another Central Division rival.

:: ANALYSIS ::

  • Hossa took no time at all reminding us all of how incredibly strong he is on the puck. Unfortunately, he reminded us all of how incredibly strong he is on the puck. 
  • Congratulations to Nick on the record. Yes, it's rare that you would embrace a record that has "oldest" in the title, but when you're doing something as impressive as this, it's a bit different. 
  • Ahhhh, Todd Bertuzzi. We'll hear something tomorrow on whether or not he'll be suspended, but for now it looks like he will. Bertuzzi had taken tremendous strides to distance himself from being known as a dirty player (yes, I know he'll never fully shake that) but this hit on Johnson brings up the ghosts of the past. It's very difficult to tell exactly what part of Bertuzzi's arm hit Johnson (not sure it was his elbow, to be honest) but the hit to the head pretty much automatically puts it under the microscope. 
  • Poor, poor Joey MacDonald. He played excellent tonight and I'm not sure I'd really fault him for any of the goals. Salei should have been able to deal with the Toews' goal and power play goals (especially one in OT) are always hard to fault a goalie for. Mac had some huge saves late in the game that preserved the tie in regulation as well as some equally great saves in the first and second period, including a save on a Hossa breakaway chance.
  • I've grown weary of playing for "one point" lately. The Wings need to really get things going soon. Granted, they faced an incredibly hungry Chicago team tonight, but after a while they need to play like we all know they're capable of playing. It seems like they're sitting back too much at times and trying to just not mess up, instead of actively trying to play.
  • Johan Franzen's return wasn't exactly disappointing, but kind of what you'd expect from a player coming back after sitting out. Franzen had six shots on goal in close to 18 minutes of ice-time and screened Crawford on Lidstrom's goal. Franzen had two good scoring chances late in regulation and was shooting from the middle of the ice all night. 
  • Holy biased announcing crew, Batman! 
  • Holy biased officiating crew, Batman!

:: VIDEO ::


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