The Blackhawks haven’t been able to catch a break against the Central Division leading Red Wings, until today that is. Chicago prevented the Wings from taking a 5-0 season series lead, defeating the defending Stanley Cup Champions 4-2 on their own ice. Revenge never tasted this good. Franzen was also kept off the score sheet, on the day that his contract was extended by 11 years!
The Hawks started the game out strong, as Hjalmarsson’s 1st career goal was scored against the rival tea, just 16 seconds into the game, assisted by Martin Havlat. Turnovers plagued the Red Wings in the first period, but converted their PP after Bolland was sent to the box. Filppula scored the tying goal with nobody covering him, with assists from both Hudler and Rafalski. The Hawks out shot Detroit 13-6, and dominated the majority of the period, but it would remain tied going into intermission.
The Wings bounced back in the second period of play, getting the majority of the chances. Most of the period however, was a ping pong game. Both teams seemed to be playing more cautious, playoff style hockey. After a bad pass was intercepted from Barker, Cleary took a shot at Huet. He made the save, however could not stop the rebound from going to Zetterburg’s stick, who beat Cristobal Huet and gained the lead for Detroit near the end of the period. Both teams had PP chances, yet neither could score on those opportunities.
Something bizarre happened a few minutes into the third period. Dowell’s blade fell off of his skate after he was checked along the boards. It had looked like Detroit was going to own the third period, until Ben Eager scored to tie the game from about 20ft out, directly in front of Conklin. The goal was scored about 8:50 minutes into the final period, and it was the first shot for the Hawks. It was assisted by Ladd/Campbell.
With 27.6 seconds remaining, and the game looking like it would go to overtime, Dustin Byfuglien
had a breakaway chance, but fanned on the shot. Kronwall’s stick had touched Byufglien’s glove, so a penalty shot was awarded, in which he scored with a shot to the top shelf, blocker side. He was the first Hawk to score on a penalty shot since Alexi Zhamnov. Detroit fans were furious, but then silenced after Ladd scored the empty net goal after Huet had made a fantastic save, sealing the game up 4-2. The Hawks are now 1-4 against the Red Wings this season, and with Vancouver gaining 2 points in their game against the Avalanche, Chicago will face the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs.