The Detroit Red Wings push Game 7 to overtime, but fall 2-1 to the Blackhawks off an unfortunate bounce of a shot, as their season ends with the Semi-Finals.
Prior to the starts of their games in the rest of the season, the Red Wings came out swinging from the start. Huge hits flew from both ends as both teams vied to avoid elimination. Penalty kills stood strong for both sides through the period, as they have for much of this series, and many good chances for both sides were turned away by spectacular goaltending. The 1st period ended scoreless, with Chicago holding a 13-11 edge in shots.
The scoring was opened early in the 2nd period, but not for the side we wanted. Off of a bad, slow line change for the Red Wings, 3 Blackhawks gained entry into the offensive zone to start a 3-on-1 rush. A few pretty passing plays, and the puck ended up on Patrick Sharp’s stick, who flung home the first goal of the game at 1:08, just after a successful Red Wings penalty kill, to make it 1-0 Blackhawks. The rest of the period played out much like the first; chippy play on either side, stellar penalty killing, and two goaltenders standing tall when their teams needed them. Red Wings would fail to score in the period, and the shots after two were 24-17 Chicago.
The Red Wings would do in the 3rd what the Blackhawks did in the 2nd. Just 26 seconds into the period, the Red Wings evened the game. Gustav Nyquist brought the puck in along the boards, and fired a pass across the net to Henrik Zetterberg who put it into the open net for their first of the game. Daniel Cleary would pick up the secondary assist. Pressure from both ends, and a lucky coinciding minor call in the last 2 minutes of the game which led to a waved-off goal from Chicago, pushed this Game 7 into overtime. Shots through 3 periods were 33-26 for Chicago.
This one would end early though. Brent Seabrook brought the puck into the slot, with players around him but with room to maneuver. He let a shot off at Jimmy Howard, that bounced off of Niklas Kronwall’s leg on the way to the net, and over his glove for the game-winning goal.
Can’t help a goal like that. Howard played a great game. A hell of a game. A series-stealing game. But the bounces are not always with you. And they caught a huge break with that waved off goal. They should feel proud that they not only made the playoffs for the 22nd straight season, but also eliminated a 2nd seed in 7 games, and took the top team in the league to 7 games, and an overtime Game 7 at that. They have nothing to feel ashamed about, and it was a hell of a ride.
We were glad to have you here with us for this rollercoaster, Nation. We’ll see you again at the draft!