Red Wings 3, Blackhawks 2 (SOL)

Good thing the bulk of the Red Wing games came early in the season for the Hawks.

All things considered, Sunday’s regular season finale at the United Center packed a punch, with the Hawks looking to grab the top spot in the Western Conference and the Wings playing to grab the five seed – and, with it, the right to miss the Vancouver Canucks in the first round. Things seemed to move a step above a typical regular season pace much of the afternoon.

Alas, the Hawks would grab the shorter end of the stick, falling in overtime 3-2.

The game’s first goal belonged to the Hawks, and it came on the power play – that’s two games in a row for you nonbelievers – and it was very similar to Jonathan Toews’ goal from Friday evening in Colorado. Again, Toews took the puck at his spot on the power play – down on the goal line about 12 feet from his near post – and drove to the front. This time, though, the puck squirted to the far post where Dave Bolland shoveled it in for the lead.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, the game’s second period was not settled in their favor. Despite outshooting the Wings 16-3 during the frame, the period’s only goal came off the stick of Patrick Eaves with the help of John Madden’s right skate. It came on a 3-on-3 break after a save by Antti Niemi. Niemi’s save, which came off a rather harmless shot from his glove side, produced a rebound to the blocker side. Rather than journeying to the boards, though, the rebound hit the outside of Madden’s inside skate and sat in front of an open portion of the net before Eaves, the third forward in, banged it home.

The Wings would take the lead in the third when Tomas Holmstrom got a piece of a Brian Rafalski shot on its way to the net.

Then, with about seven minutes left in the third as another strong shift from the Toews/Hossa/Sharp line came to a close, Marian Hossa sent a pass to the far post on a 2-on-2. The pass found the skate of Colin Fraser, who had Brad Stuart draped all over him. The puck went past the goal line, and after a video review of the play, the referees determined the puck had not been kicked in.

The tie game would persist until Stuart broke it about mid-way through overtime. On the play, Patrick Kane was on the second leg of a double shift and could barely stride when his man, Stuart, cut to the net in the Hawks zone. Stuart collected a feed from Dan Cleary, and the Hawks settled into second place in the conference when the Stuart shot hit the twine.

Here We Go

Bring on the seventh seeded Nashville Predators.  The Hawks grabbed four of the teams’ six match-ups this regular season.

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12 Responses to Red Wings 3, Blackhawks 2 (SOL)

  1. JM says:

    Think we’ll hear anything about Johnsson’s ability to play in the first round, with the additional 5 days of rest until the start?

  2. AC says:

    I can’t believe that Campbell is already skating and Johnsson is not, even to the point where some news sources are saying he may be ready for Friday (which I would highly doubt). Either way, to have one of these 2 back for any part of the playoffs is vital to any success, especially offensively.

  3. CT says:

    I have the feeling that the “Campbell might play” talk is simply gamesmanship.

  4. Lee says:

    Q said in the after game press conference when asked about Johnson that he had no idea, then he said it was day to day. In my book that means forget about Johnson. John, I know you said Kaner was tired but it looked to me that he just was out of position as he is a lot on defence and no doubt in my mind he was the main cause of that goal. Another interesting thought is that Burish is benched and Bickell and Fraser are in his place even though Brouwer is MIA. My question,. next year does Burish even make this team with Bickell-Dowd and Skille and oops Ii forgot about Beach all sitting in Rockford. Also with Johnson gone you can be sure that Lalonde will be on the back line. Also dont forgot about my goon they are going to sign!!!!

  5. dominator says:

    Burish is still not 100% so that may have been the reason he was scratched for Bickell.

  6. Mick Durand says:

    How many games do you fellas see this one lasting? 5?

  7. blackhawkbob says:

    Without having thought about it too much, I think five is too short. In Nashville, I see the team that took Detroit to seven a couple seasons ago. They’ll be tough – how, I’m not quite sure, but they’ll be tough.

  8. Crowls says:

    Sharp’s finishing (or lack thereof) is really concerning me. I love that he is getting so many chances, but he just isn’t capitalizing. Come on, Sharpie! Get it together!

  9. Otter says:

    I think if you were looking for a sweep, the Hawks over Preds and Sharks over Avs are probably your best bets. The Caps should take the Habs in four, but I have zero faith in the Caps blue line and goaltending; and don’t the Habs have like the #1 or #2 power play?

    What I’d love to see is the Canucks take care of business and force the Wings/Sharks series to happen.

    My two cents (ie go to Vegas and bet everything you have, these predictions are like Paul Pierce, the TRUTH):
    Caps over Habs, Devils over Flyers, Sabers over Bruins, Pens over Sens
    Pens over Caps, Devils over Sabers
    Pens over Devils

    Sharks over Avs, Hawks over Preds, Kings over Canucks, Wings over Yotes
    Sharks over Kings, Hawks over Wings
    Hawks over Sharks

    I’ll worry about the Cup Finals later.

  10. feyer says:

    Otter, thanks for filling out my brackets. I’m off to vegas now to bet the farm.

  11. Otter says:

    @feyer, sure thing. Any time. Tip someone instead of me with the money you make.

    But seriously, good little article from ESPN Insider (I can afford it thanks to last year NHL playoff predictions) on goalies and this caught my eye:
    “…the 25-year-old Fleury has more postseason games under his belt than all but Brodeur and Nabokov among this season’s relatively inexperienced crop of playoff netminders.”

    So much for needing a goalie. All the goalies this year are inexperienced.

    If they post anything on goons and winning in hockey, I’ll be sure to pass it along (or you can go rent Slapshot).

  12. Big Tony says:

    Hawks in 5, maybe 6 if their goalie steals one. Only way we lose this series is if we pull a 1990-91 Hawks and spend the series in the box for taking dumbass penalties.

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