Monday, May 20, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Red Wings 3, Blackhawks 1
By Scott Powers
DETROIT -- Here’s a quick look at the Detroit Red Wings' 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal series at Joe Louis Arena on Monday.
How it happened: The Red Wings shifted the game’s momentum during a 31-second span in the second period. First, the Red Wings’ Gustav Nyquist raced to a loose puck near the blue line, pushed the puck to his left beyond the reach of Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook and then waited out diving attempts by Seabrook and Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford before shooting from the left circle and into the net at 7:49. Before the buzz from the crowd had ceased, the Red Wings were at it again. Off a turnover by Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival in his defensive zone, Red Wings forward Cory Emmerton quickly got the puck to Patrick Eaves. Eaves put back-to-back shots on Crawford, and Drew Miller eventually finished off the job with a Detroit goal at 8:20. Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane pulled his team within a goal when he scored at 4:35 of the third period, but the Red Wings answered with a goal by Pavel Datsyuk at 6:46. The Red Wings killed off all four of the Blackhawks’ power plays. Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard made 39 saves.
Player of the game: The Blackhawks had their share of quality chances, but Howard was there nearly every time to stop them. Howard has had 30-plus saves in six playoff games this season.
What it means: The Red Wings have taken control of the series and have gone ahead 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. With another home game upcoming, the Red Wings have a chance to secure a commanding series lead. The Blackhawks, who were the league’s best team in the regular season, haven’t faced much adversity this season, but they’re in a difficult spot now. Their power play has continued to struggle; Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad have yet to score in the playoffs. The Hawks need to win at least once in Detroit and the Red Wings are playing with confidence and the momentum.
What’s next: The series remains in Detroit with Game 4 coming on Thursday night. The Blackhawks will return to Chicago to practice on Tuesday and Wednesday.