By Christy Hammond
During the first two periods, the Chicago Blackhawks (11-6-7) controlled the play with four of the first six goals. However, the Detroit Red Wings (18-4-4) came out strong in the final frame with goals from Henrik Zetterberg and Marian Hossa to send the game into overtime. Thanks to superb goaltending by Ty Conklin and Pavel Datsyuk’s lone goal in the shootout, Detroit earned two points on the night in the 5-4 win over Chicago
Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler scored within the 4:33 of the game Saturday night giving Detroit the early lead, which unfortunately didn’t last long thanks to the strong play of Chicago’s young forwards.
Patrick Sharp pulled the ‘Hawks within one and then 20-year-old captain Jonathan Toews scored consecutive first period goals to give Chicago a 3-2 lead heading into the first intermission. Andrew Ladd then beat Conklin two minutes into the second period for another Chicago goal much to the dismay of the Wings fans in attendance.
Conklin then shut down the Blackhawks after their fourth goal stopping the remaining 20 shots during the third period and overtime. He was fantastic in the shootout as he stopped all three shots by Toews, Sharp, and Patrick Kane, which is no easy feat. Datsyuk, who went first in the shootout, scored the only goal of the six players.
Hossa’s goal halfway through the third period was just another example of clutch play by No. 81. His wrist shot beat Chicago goaltender Cristobal Huet above the right shoulder to send the Wings into overtime. Dan Cleary tallied two assists including a great backhanded pass to Hossa on the final goal.
My favorite moment of the game was actually Datsyuk’s big open-ice hit on Kris Versteeg late in overtime. I can’t think of a time when I’ve seen Datsyuk actually lay out an opponent on the open ice like that, but it was certainly a great sight to see especially since it was actually a strong defensive play.
The Joe definitely seemed alive with excitement tonight with our Central Division rivals in town including some Chicago fans, who proved to be amusing fodder for Detroit fans on the jumbotron.
All in all, the Wings will certainly be happy to get two points from that game after pouring it on in the third period.
Detroit’s next game is this Wednesday against Calgary where fans in attendance will receive a free commemorative Stanley Cup ring.