Photo Credit: Rick Ostenski/USA TODAY SPORTS
It doesn’t feel quite as bad to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks when they’re not in your conference anymore, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still terrible to watch. The Red Wings had a less-than-stellar showing tonight losing to the Western Conference powerhouse by a score of 5-2.
Detroit fell behind on the scoreboard early, as Brent Seabrook opened things up just two and a half minutes in. He was the triggerman on a play that took advantage of a brutal line change effort by Brad Richards, which gave Chicago a man advantage on a rush they were already flying high on.
The Hawks made matters worse in the second period, where the Wings in a legitimate penalty kill situation and were exposed as a result. With Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall both in the box, all it took was for Patrick Kane to wait for just the right moment to slip the puck across the crease to a wide open Artemi Panarin, and the Calder Trophy competitor easily fired home his 23rd of the season as a result. Just a minute and a half later, Kane picked up his own goal; the Hawks lost the zone but transitioned just a step ahead of every forechecker, and Kyle Quincey’s dive wasn’t enough to prevent an easy shot.
Midway through the third, the wings attempted to make a comeback. Just four seconds into a penalty to Kane, Richards wired a slapshot from the left point past Corey Crawford and into the back of the net to bring the Wings within one. The good vibes were short-lived, though; old-is-newcomer Andrew Ladd restored the three-goal lead less than five minutes later and Panarin doubled up to remove all doubt from the game. Gustav Nyqvist gave the remaining fans a little bit more to cheer about, but at this point, nobody expected much.
Motor City MVP
Johan Franzen’s finest moments of his NHL career might be coming from the Injured Reserve. Easily the social media post of the night, if not the year.
See You Next Time
The Red Wings will take a few days off before getting another crack at the Hawks, this time in their home turf. Check back Sunday night for the grudge match; puck drop is at 5:00 PM.