A long-anticipated rivalry game since the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals was played at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday when the Blackhawks came into Detroit to take on the Red Wings.
From the starting gate the two teams were quick, gritty and ready to put the puck in the net. The Blackhawks hit the scoreboard first with a goal from Marian Hossa, that was quickly followed by a second goal two and a half minutes later from Andrew Shaw to put the Hawks up 2-0 with 9:30 to play in the first period.
Just under two minutes later, Tomas Tatar wristed one past Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford, assisted by fellow Slovak Olympian, Tomas Jurco.
While the game was getting grittier and no penalties were being called, players were getting more creative. With Patrick Eaves breaking over to the right half of the offensive zone and Justin Abdelkader receiving a pass from Henrik Zetterberg, he was thinking of quarterbacking a pass to him in front.
A Chicago defenseman sliced Abdelkader’s stick from his hand leaving him with only the puck and no stick. Quickly, the former Spartan got to the ground and kicked the puck off of his toe to Patrick Eaves, for a quick wrist shot past Crawford to tie up the game at 2-2.
“I think that last playoff run kind of left a sour taste in our mouths, especially after they (went) on to win it,” Justin Abdelkader said. “We enjoy playing them and I think our fans enjoy it just as much or maybe even more than we do. It was loud. It was probably the loudest it’s been all season here. It felt good.”
The second period was just as hectic as the first but with more penalties. The first period came out with a clean slate, zero penalties to either team. In the second period, both teams took two penalties each.
Chicago’s Patrick Sharp capitalized on the power play 5:20 into the second period to put the Blackhawks back on top, but only for a mere 50 seconds. The Red Wings responded with a goal from Kyle Quincey 6:20 into the second when he put a quick snap shot past Crawford.
“It’s always fun to beat (Chicago),” Kyle Quincey said. “We know that we can beat most teams if we play our game, but it does reiterate the fact that if we do play well, we can do it. Hopefully we use this as a template going forward.”
In the third period, the Blackhawks tied the game back up at 4-4 to eventually send the game into overtime.
Overtime came and went with few scoring opportunities for either team.
The shootout matched the style of the game with a lot of scoring from both teams. The Red Wings found luck from Patrick Eaves and Todd Bertuzzi after Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp both scored on Jonas Gustavsson. In the sixth round of the shootout, the Red Wings came out of the rivalry matchup victorious. Darren Helm scored the game-winner speeding down the ice and snapping a shot past Corey Crawford.
Andrew Shaw could not slip one past Jonas Gustavsson on his last attempt, which gave the Red Wings two points and a victory against their old Western Conference rivals.
“They’re a great team and we played well right from the start,” Patrick Eaves said. “We needed these two points worse than they (did). It’s huge for us and hopefully it will springboard us to something else.”
The NHL realignment this season has put the Wings and Hawks in different divisions. Although the split, both sides believe that the rivalry will still live on strong.
“I don’t think it’s going anywhere,” Toews said. “Both teams still know what it means to play one another and it might add to it, I think, that we see each other less often. Tonight was maybe a bit of a slower start, but I definitely think the intensity picked up and we saw the type of game we’re used to out of them later in the game. It’s frustrating not to find a way to win.”
The Detroit Red Wings will take the ice in an Eastern Conference divisional matchup against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday, January 24 at 7:30 p.m.
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Information from the Detroit Red Wings was used in this report.
For more information on the Detroit Red Wings and NHL hockey from analysts and journalists at Michigan State University – tune into Octopi Hockeytown podcasts and embrace the Spartan debate at www.impact89fm.org/sports.
Austin Goodman is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.
CHI – 8:41 – M. Hossa (Tip-in) J. Toews, J. Oduya
CHI – 10:26 – A. Shaw (Backhand) P. Kane, B. Saad
DET – 11:14 – T. Tatar (Wrist) B. Smith, T. Jurco
DET – 17:40 – P. Eaves (Wrist) J. Abdelkader, H. Zetterberg
CHI – 5:03 PPG – P. Sharp (Slap) D. Keith, P. Kane
DET – 6:20 – K. Quincey (Snap) G. Nyquist, H. Zetterberg
DET – 11:14 – G. Nyquist (Wrist) H. Zetterberg, J. Abdelkader
CHI – 5:12 – M. Kruger (Wrist) Unassisted
No goals recorded
RD1) DET – T. Tatar/CHI – J. Toews
RD2) DET – P. Eaves/CHI – P. Sharp
RD3) DET – T. Bertuzzi/CHI – P. Kane
RD4) DET – H. Zetterberg/CHI – M. Hossa
RD5) DET – T. Jurco/CHI – M. Kruger
RD6) DET – D. Helm/CHI – A. Shaw
First: Henrik Zetterberg
(3A, +3, 3 shots, 21:30 TOI)
Second: Darren Helm
(GWG – SO, -3, 2 shots, 4 hits, 10:55 TOI)
Third: Marian Hossa
(1G, -1, 5 shots, 1 hit, 2PIM, 20:25 TOI)