If you ask a coach what a key to winning in the post season is, you’ll likely get the answer of special teams. This proved to be very true tonight as the Hawks failed to score on a late power play in the third period to fall to the Red Wings, 2-0.
After taking the first game of the series, the Blackhawks have been outplayed and out-coached by Detroit and now find themselves in a 3-1 hole, heading back to Chicago for Game 5.
It looked somewhat promising for the Hawks in the first period. The new lines, which featured a line of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Bryan Bickell, were creating space and getting some quality chances. But Jimmy Howard continued his dominate series and kept the Hawks scoreless in the first.
Heading into the second period tied, the first goal of the game would be crucial if the Hawks were going to win this game. They came close when Nick Leddy tried to sneak a wrist shot past Howard but hit to goal post, which has become quite common for the Hawks. After failing to score on two power plays, the Hawks were put on the penalty kill three times in a row, all on Toews’ penalties. Detroit was able to score on the second power play and took a 1-0 lead. It would be the first power play goal the Hawks allowed all season.
The Hawks entered the third period with their backs against the wall, needed to try to pull out a victory. They had a number of chances but Howard continued to shut the door. With under five minutes left in the game, the Hawks got their third power play of the game. But yet again, they struggled to create any offensive whatsoever. The power play was only able to get one shot on three penalties.
The Wings added an empty net goal to win 2-0.
The Hawks are getting a lot of bad breaks with the disallowed goal and hitting five posts. But when they only get one shot on the power play, you shouldn’t win. Game 5 is Saturday night at 7. Every game is now a must win for the Hawks.