The Blackhawks ran away from the Red Wings with a 4-1 victory in Game 1 on Wednesday. Chicago dominated the puck the last two periods and outshot Detroit 42-21 for the game.
“We expect a harder game,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after Friday’s practice. “Physically, I’m sure it’s going to be more physical than the first game. As you progress, as we found in the Minnesota series, it’s like that. Don’t wait for it to happen, expect it to happen and be more proactive than reactionary. So let’s have that mentality going into the game.”
Quenneville and a number of his players called Wednesday’s win their best performance of the playoffs. Quenneville had called for his team to play with more energy after the Wild series.
Chicago has defeated Detroit in the teams' past eight meetings, but the Blackhawks realize the series is far from over. They witnessed the fight in the Red Wings throughout their foes' seven-game series with the Anaheim Ducks in the first round.
“I think we’re very confident,” Chicago forward Patrick Kane said. “I think right now we got to be careful not to get too ahead of ourselves and make sure we’re focusing in on the task at hand because all of the time that’s the best part of it.
“I think it’s a good start to the series, for sure. From what we’ve seen from Detroit, it seems like maybe they were a little tired as the game went on. For us, expect a better effort for them. Knowing they’re going to give a better effort, we got to give a better effort, too. To say we have another level, I’m sure every team wants to say that, but it’s definitely a good start to the second round.”
The Red Wings would love to steal a win in Chicago on Saturday and take the series back to Detroit tied. For that to happen, the Red Wings need to slow down the Blackhawks.
“It definitely would be good to come back with a win,” Detroit forward Damien Brunner said Friday. “We expect another hard game. We have to do a better job. In the second and third periods, they were all over us. So it’s up to us to do a better job, skate better and put them under pressure and don’t let them come out that easy, and hope that we have a good game.”