Now that was Red Wings brand hockey. After a disappointing 4-2 loss against the same Chicago Blackhawks at home on Friday, the Red Wings showed up for today's game and it might be the difference for the playoff hopes of two teams.
Johan Franzen had the best chance for the Red Wings in the first period off a centering pass from Tomas Holmstrom, but Corey Crawford stretched his right leg out in time to stop the shot.
After a 1st period with no scoring, the two teams combined for three goals in the 2nd period. Michael Frolik scored the first goal of the game at 5:18. Brad Stuart "lost an edge" while in possession of the puck and Patrick Kane picked it up, centered it to Frolik and Frolik beat Jimmy Howard to the glove side for a 1-0 Chicago lead. The Red Wings answered just 1:38 later as a horrible pass from Viktor Stalberg went out of the Chicago offensive zone and up to Tomas Holmstrom. Holmstrom ripped a slapshot past Crawford to the near post to tie the game. Pavel Datsyuk put the Wings ahead 2-1 a little bit over a minute later after a Todd Bertuzzi shot was stopped. Dan Cleary picked up the puck and put it to Datsyuk and he put it past Crawford for his 23rd of the year.
The second period was wild, but it set up an even wilder third period. Follow the jump for the rest of the game, analysis and video.
Drew Miller scored early in the 3rd period to push the lead to 3-1 for Detroit. Valtteri Filppula put a pass across to Jiri Hudler on the rush and Hudler went past the goalline before putting it back in front to the trailing Drew Miller. Miller got his stick on the puck as he was getting checked into the goal to score his 10th goal and his second in as many games.
With Tomas Kopecky screening Jimmy Howard, Brent Seabrook's shot from the point went past Jimmy Howard for a one-goal game. At 8:11 of the the third period, Dan Cleary scored the eventual game-winning goal, set up by a great play by Todd Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi finished his check on Niklas Hjalmarsson and got the puck, skated off the boards and dished to Cleary. Cleary beat Crawford for a 4-2 Detroit lead and his 26th goal of the season.
Duncan Keith scored shortly after to bring the Blackhawks back within one goal. Jonathan Ericsson went to the penalty box late in the game
The Red Wings win means that they will face the Phoenix Coyotes (again) in the first round. The Chicago Blackhawks will play the waiting game as a win in regulation or OT (no SO) by the Dallas Stars will eliminate the Blackhawks.
:: ANALYSIS AND RANDOM STATS ::
- That was great, gutsy win by the Red Wings heading into the playoffs. There's a lot that the Wings can take from this game going forward. Let's see if they actually do take that into the first round of the playoffs.
- There's a birthday present for you, Petrella.
- I like how everything related to this game is "Chicago _______", "Blackhawks _________", not "Detroit ________" or "Red Wings_________". I know they're the team jockeying for playoff positioning, but bloody hell.
- Edzo is atrocious to listen to when it's a Blackhawks' game that he's broadcasting. I liked how incredibly quiet he got after the final buzzer sounded.
- I hate to do this, but if that's Tomas Holmstrom instead of Tomas Kopecky, it's not a goal.
- The Wings did an excellent job of playing physical today, outhitting the Blackhawks 35-15 including 4+ from Franzen, Bertuzzi, Stuart and Abdelkader. Abdelkader might hear from the NHL after his hit on Seabrook but at most it should be a fine.
- Corey Crawford must feel horrible giving up a slapshot goal to Tomas Holmstrom. I'm sure Viktor Stalberg feels worse for having a centering pass that goes out of the zone...
- Brad Stuart logged 27 minutes of ice-time, only Duncan Keith (28:18) had more. Stuart had 3:37 of shorthanded TOI, Keith had 0--as did every Blackhawk...
- Pavel Datsyuk had some absolutely incredible displays of stickhandling in today's game. I think he's getting geared up for the playoffs and it was great to see him get a goal. Datsyuk had 7 shots on goal
- I still am shaking from that game. I'm sure the Stars are too.