The next chapter of the rivalry between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings began Wednesday is the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not only are the teams long time rivals but also Original Six teams which always adds extra intensity to the matchup. With the Red Wings moving to the Eastern Conference next season, this will be the last time the two teams can face off in the playoffs until the Cup Final.
Coming off a week of rest, rust can haunt a team in the first game of a playoffs series. But that was not the case for Hawks tonight as they dominated much of the entire game, out shooting Detroit 42-21 to get a 4-1 victory.
The Hawks got the majority of the first scoring chances and Marian Hossa got the scoring started after he blasted a shot past Wings’ goalie Jimmy Howard on a good pass from Jonathan Toews. But the Hawks didn’t keep their lead for long. About two minutes later, Damien Brunner rebounded his own shot and put it into the back of the net to tie the game at 1. It would remain tied until the third period.
The Hawks completely dominated the Wings in the second period as they out shot Detroit 17-5. But Howard was strong for the visitors and keep his team in the game. But the continuous scoring chances would eventually catch up to Howard.
The game was up for grabs in the third period as it was still tied, 1-1. But at 8:02, Patrick Sharp made a great pass to set up Johnny Oduya who was able to beat Howard to break the tie. This time, the Hawks were able to keep the lead. A few minutes later, Marcus Kruger found a lose puck in front of the net and back handed it in to extend the lead to two.
Chicago continued to dominate and Patrick Sharp finished the Wings off with the empty net goal. Hawks won 4-1.
A great first game for the Blackhawks after not playing for a week. Since the Chicago Bulls had rights to the United Center on Friday, even though they were eliminated tonight, Game 2 will be on Saturday at noon.