Red Wings 2 Blackhawks 3 (SO)
Detroit entered this game having scored just seven times in the previous five contests, and for 48 minutes it was more of the same.
Then Johan Franzen scored to cut the Blackhawks lead to one. The goal was Franzen’s team-leading 29th of the year, one more than the 28 he scored last year which also lead the team.
Pavel Datsyuk tied the game with 47 seconds left after a beautiful between-the-legs, no-look pass by Tomas Holmstrom. I don’t care how many guys you have on the ice (the Wings had pulled Jimmy Howard for a sixth skater), someone better be covering #13 on Detroit at all times. The Hawks missed an assignment and Pavel made them pay.
Patrick Kane made a fancy move in the shootout to score the only goal of the skills competition, one-upping Datsyuk who had just failed on a between-the-legs deke.
Riley Sheahan made his NHL debut and logged 6:03 in TOI. Sheahan was the Wings first pick in the 2010 draft at 21st overall. He signed his entry-level deal earlier this week.
The point earned in the shootout loss means Detroit will open up the playoffs on the road as the number five seed. They will face division-rival Nashville.
The two teams split the season series 3-3. Last time Detroit and Nashville faced in the playoffs was in the 2008 Western Conference quarterfinals. Detroit won in 6 games on their way to a Stanley Cup Finals victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Off Wing View’s Three Stars
3. Henrik Zetterberg
2. Patrick Kane
1. Patrick Sharp