In a game they absolutely needed, the Blackhawks put forth their best effort against the Red Wings in a few years. Save for one shift in the first period where the fourth line was stuck on the ice after an icing and Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Johan Franzen skated circles aroud them for a couple minutes, the Hawks were in complete control.
Patrick Sharp opened the scoring. Then Bryan Bickell roofed a shot over Jimmy Howard’s glove. The Wings responded with a goal of their own thirty seconds later.
In the second period on a delayed penalty, Tomas Kopecky took advantage of a rare Niklas Lidstrom mental mistake. Lidstrom keyed on Brian Campbell, the puck carrier, while Kopecky blew right past him. Campbell sprung Kopecky and a simple backhand-forehand move made it 3-1.
The Wings chances in the third were mostly of the one and done variety.
–If you don’t count the two games last year when the Hawks beat the Detroit Griffins 3-0 in consectutive games and the back-to-back games at the end of the ’08-09 season (and I don’t), this was the first time since the ’07-08 campaign (Kane and Toews’ rookie seasons) that the Hawks finished out a game against the Wings. Generally, a two goal lead against Detroit was a cause for civic panic.
Not this time, though.
–Bryan Bickell has 9 goals on the season. I can’t think of one that he didn’t roof over the goalie’s glove. While his shot occasionally takes a while to launch, the last two have been pretty swift releases.
–When was the last time Brian Campbell played 5 more minutes than Duncan Keith?