How it happened: The Blackhawks dominated the puck the final two periods and were rewarded in the final one. Defenseman Johnny Oduya broke a 1-1 tie with a goal at 8:02 of the third period. Blackhawks forwards Marcus Kruger and Patrick Sharp added goals later in the period to provide the final score. After the Blackhawks were outshot 7-6 in the first period, they outshot the Red Wings 36-14 the rest of the way. Marian Hossa put the Blackhawks ahead 1-0 when he scored on the power play at 9:03 of the first period. The Red Wings answered quickly and tied the game when Damien Brunner scored at 10:57. Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard kept his team in the game throughout the night, but eventually the Blackhawks broke through with their continuous shooting. Howard made 38 saves. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 20 saves.
Player of the game: Sharp was a factor all over the ice. He had one goal, two assists, seven shots, two hits, one blocked shot and one takeaway. He also won 3-of-4 faceoffs.
What it means: The Blackhawks didn’t look like a team which had been off for nearly a week. They regained their playoff intensity and controlled the game for the final two periods. As good as the Blackhawks were offensively, their penalty kill was a major factor again. After holding the Minnesota Wild scoreless on 17 power-play opportunities in the first round, the Blackhawks killed off all three of the Red Wings’ power plays on Wednesday. The teams were meeting for the 800th time in their franchises’ histories.
What’s next: The teams will have two days off before they meet again. Game 2 will be in Chicago at noon on Saturday.