Detroit Red Wings.
The game could not have started any uglier as a Pavel Datsyuk turnover lead to a pass from Patrick Sharp along the boards to Brent Seabrook. Seabrook came in from the blueline to the faceoff dot to have an easy one-time goal as Johan Franzen's defense was nonexistent and the Blackhawks were up 1-0 just 0:37 into the game.
Ben Smith scored his first NHL goal off a Valtteri Filppula turnover forced by Patrick Kane. Kane's stick forced the turnover and Smith was all alone on Jimmy Howard and ripped a shot past him at 6:07 of the first period. Brian Campbell scored the third goal of the first period after a pass from Michael Frolik gave Campbell a good path to the net, outdeking Howard and scoring his 5th goal of the season.
The first period was ugly, follow the jump for the rest of the game, discussion and video.
With Ruslan Salei in the box for hooking, Brent Seabrook sent a pass from his own crease to the blueline to find a cherry-picking Marian Hossa. Hossa snuck in behind Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart and as the puck came to him, he had a breakaway on Howard. Howard gave up his fourth goal of the game as Hossa scored his 25th of the season.
Drew Miller scored his 9th goal of the season off a cross-ice pass from Johan Franzen at 19:38 of the 2nd period. Miller's goal could have served as some momentum going into the third and although the Wings came out a little bit stronger in the 3rd, it seemed they had already packed it in. Tomas Holmstrom added a meaningless goal (his 17th of the year) late in the 3rd period.
The Red Wings close out the regular season against the Blackhawks again on Sunday at 12:30 PM ET on NBC.
:: THREE POINTS FOR DISCUSSION ::
- Is it time to panic with this performance or was it just the case of a team (CHI) needing a big win and playing a team (DET) that had very little to play for? I think it's more of the second option. There's a lot that you can point to but I tend to think that the team played rather reserved and for a reason.
- Do Jimmy Howard's teammates hate him? Very little chance for him on all four goals.
- Did Ruslan Salei play himself out of a starting job tonight? Salei had some turnovers and had some bad plays in tonight's game while Jakub Kindl and Jonathan Ericsson (yes, really) have been stepping their game up.
- BONUS: Is there anything to play for on Sunday or do the Wings mail it in?
:: VIDEO ::