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No Time Like Showtime! Kane Nets OT Winner in Return to Chicago

Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Wings continue their stretch of playing the most detestable franchises of the western conference visiting the grossest one of them all. Red Wings legend and all-time great NHL defenseman Christos Kostas Chelios is to be honored tonight. The Red Wings hold a 14-5-1 record since the turn of the calendar year and are looking to create more space between the pack of teams in the Eastern Conference chasing them for the final wild card spot. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, are sprinting toward the 1st overall pick with a 4-18 record in 2024. It is also Patrick Kane’s first time at the United Center not wearing a Blackhawks sweater, but I doubt that will be mentioned tonight.

One other quick side note is this game is being broadcast by NHL Network tonight, meaning six of us will be able to watch tonight’s game. I thought I’d tip a cap to the brilliance of the NHL’s unfailing strategy of estranging their fanbases as often as possible.

1st Period

In a game predicated on honoring legends of both franchises, this game will start with two Red Wings goaltending legends on opposite sides of the ice. Petr Mrazek for the bad guys, James Reimer for the good guys. The first couple minutes don’t produce much except for a spicy David Perron wrister that hits Mrazek right between the eyes. The next few minutes are much the same with the Wings driving the majority of possession and chances including a couple of good looking chances for Lucas “Redmond”.

Seider had one of the worst giveaways you’ll ever see from a defensemen in the offensive zone. Chaos ensues in Reimer’s crease after the ensuing breakaway, but the puck stays out of Reimer’s net and Moritz Seider is officially on Santy’s naughty list.

The United Center then takes a timeout to play a tribute video for Patrick Kane. I can’t help but smile. But I’m a bitter, angry, and hungover man who’s smiling simply because it’s a real pleasure watching Chicagoans cheer someone wearing the Winged Wheel while knowing they have literally nothing else to cheer for. Mwahaha. Now back to hockey.

Some really poor defensive support from Debrincat amidst some “Detroit Sucks” chants leads quickly to a dangerous 3-on-1 in tight, but Reimer was able to just combine his pad and glove to keep the puck from crossing the goalline. Tyler Johnson got a scary chance streaking into the slot on the next shift just missing the net and the Blackhawks have suddenly generated six unanswered shots on goal.

The Wings were able to quickly create a few shots of their own from Ghost, Fabbri, and Walman, but Mrazek’s active pads look strong so far. Seider had another suspect offensive-zone shift. Gostisbehere wants to help Seider’s confidence so he just gives the puck away right in front of Reimer for no damn reason but Foligno misses the net with the backhand.

The sloppy play continues throughout the rest of the period with copious giveaways on both sides, but with 50 seconds remaining, Sprong and Fischer combine to create a turnover at the Chicago blue line. Sprong gets the puck to Fabbri who is entering the zone as Fischer deliberately heads towards the front of the net. Sprong gets it back from Fabbri, then falls as he passes to Fischer who returns the puck to Sprong at the dot who was able to get up just in time to fling a flying one-timer Superman-style past Mrazek!

Detroit 1 – Chicago 0

Detroit fills the remaining 40 seconds of the period with way more giveaways and blown assignments that should even be able to fit into 40 seconds of hockey, but the Blackhawks keep missing the net and Reimer makes another big couple of saves.

End 1. Detroit 1 – Chicago 0

2nd Period

Raymond, Rasmussen, and Compher combine for a tremendous shift full of chances. Their shift ends with another 2-on-1 rush for Chicago, and for at least the 4th time this afternoon, Chicago is unable to register a shot on goal from an odd-man rush. On the next shift, a broken Blackhawks stick generates an effect 4-on-1 rush for Detroit. Unfortunately, Copp is on the ice and despite having plenty of options like keeping the puck or passing to a teammate, he just blindly rims the puck around behind Mrazek to immediately negate Detroit’s possession. While he did that, he was chased up the boards by Gostisbehere, who moments later took the puck from Maatta and immediately gave it away to spring Chicago on another 2-on-1. Both Reimer and Maatta did their job, but Gostisbehere backchecked with the urgency of a sloth and Entwistle puts home the loose puck.

Detroit 1 – Chicago 1

With each shift, I’m more and more convinced the Red Wings would have a better chance of winning this game going with 11 forwards and 5 defensemen. Copp and Gostisbehere seem to be completely incapable of doing anything but giving the puck straight to a Hawk. Another pathetic giveaway from Copp forces Reimer to make another strong save. Reimer has been very good tonight, huge credit to him. The Blackhawks have maybe created two or three chances all afternoon. The rest have been handed to them by the Red Wings thus far.

Gostisbehere ruined a good-looking shift from Compher, Raymond, and Rasmussen with his 83rd inexplicable giveaway and he should absolutely be benched for the rest of the night. No mention of the Kane-Larkin-Debrincat line all night, which is not a good thing, but they do finally create a little bit of sustained possession and their first scoring chance. Mrazek had to be very agile to make a great stop on Debrincat.

Not much of note past the midway point. The Wings continue to almost entirely drive possession. Unfortunately, a lot of the possession they drive continues to be Blackhawks’ possession by way of gratis giveaways. We go to the final commercial break of the middle frame with the Hawks leading in both shots and chances. With 3 minutes remaining, the refs unswallow their whistles to call Raymond for a pretty innocuous “slash”. Foligno is allowed to comfortably establish himself in front of Reimer who deflects a Bedard wrister through several of Reimer’s body parts to give the home team the lead late in the period.

End 2. Detroit 1 – Chicago 2

3rd Period

The Red Wings come out in the final frame even flatter than they have been for the first 40. Bedard did some cool things, then threw a late uncalled elbow to Patrick Kane’s jaw. Dylan Larkin missed the net on a glorious and fortuitous chance. And just like that, the Wings are just 13 minutes away from dropping a trap game in regulation.

It takes 10 minutes for the trailing Red Wings to get a single shot on net of any danger, but Mrazek is able to stop Raymond’s chance in tight. Shortly after, Connor Bedard gets a very long and lonely breakaway on Reimer, but Bedard can’t beat Reimer’s glove.

With 4 minutes remaining, the Wings get the goal they need – a dumb one. Debrincat from behind Mrazek sneaks the puck between the near post and Mrazek’s back which eventually trickles down Mrazek’s backside and in!

Detroit 2 – Chicago 2

The refs seem unwilling to send the home team to the penalty kill. While they’ve only blown one whistle all game, in the final two and a half minutes, the zebras distinctly ignore multiple egregious defensive zone hookings and a pretty blatant dive, and we go to extra time.

End 3. Detroit 2 – Chicago 2


The Wings start with Larkin, Raymond, and Seider against Bedard, Kurashev, and Jones. The Wings control the puck and Bedard breaks a stick, but the Wings are unable to capitalize or even threaten. Reimer makes a few major saves and hey, guess what? The script writers are earning their paychecks tonight. None other than Alex Debrincat springs none other than Patrick Kane. All alone. And he makes. No. Mistake.

Final Score: Detroit 3 – Chicago 2

Final Thoughts:

From start to finish the Wings looked painfully sluggish and disjointed. Other than Reimer and maybe Chiarot, no one really had an overall positive game tonight, and several were downright abysmal. The Wings were extremely lucky to avoid the obvious trap game here tonight and get another critical two points. It’s hard to be mad at that ending though – suck it, Chicago! The Wings have a few enormous in-conference games this week hosting the Caps, Islanders, and Panthers before heading to Denver for the final Western Conference road trip of the season. Let’s keep it rolling! LGRW!!!!

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