The Detroit Red Wings fight hard early, but drop a disheartening game to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1.
The first period looked very good for the Red Wings, who are still decimated by injuries to ten players. Neither team would get on the board in the first period, and although Chicago doubled up Detroit’s shots in the period 11-5, the Red Wings did a good job blocking many of the attempts, gathering 9 in the first period alone.
Both teams would manage to get on the board in the second. Chicago struck first at 8:44, when Nick Leddy was left unguarded and unchallenged at the blue line on a Chicago power play. He let off a slap shot through a screen in front of Jimmy Howard, and it beat him 5-hole for the 1-0 lead. Detroit would manage to respond at 15:10 on a power play of their own. Gustav Nyquist took a well-placed pass in the slot from Daniel Alfredsson, and let off a wrist shot that made three different deflections on its way to the net, and finally behind Corey Crawford to tie the game 1-1. It looked like they were going to go to the second intermission tied, but as has been the norm for Detroit this season, they let in a last-minute goal. At 19:48, Howard came out to make a good save on an initial shot. A scrum ensued in front of him while he was down, and Ben Smith managed to get a stick on the loose puck as he went down and put it up over Howard to take the 2-1 lead leaving the period. Shots after two periods were 25-12 in favor of the Blackhawks.
The third period was, yet again, another collapse by Detroit. Chicago would strike again at 6:34, when the Red Wings defenders tied each other up at the blue line and let Marian Hossa into the zone alone. He put the puck far-side on Howard for the 3-1 goal on the 4-on-4. The dagger-goal came shorthanded by Chicago at 17:50, when Johan Franzen let the puck out of the zone and a 2-on-1 in the wrong direction toward Howard. Jonathan Toews would come in alone on Howard and get the puck under his leg for the final 4-1 score. Shots in the game ended at 30-20 in favor of Chicago.
We’re depleted. We’re beaten down. And we’re only getting worse at this point. But this rag-tag team of rookies needs to get it together soon or the playoffs will be a pipe dream. Next game is Tuesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a huge division matchup for a big 2 points. See you then, Nation.