Blackhawks blanked first time this season by Red Wings; down 1-3 in series
Coach Joel Quenneville knew that something had to be done to get the Blackhawks back on track for the series, so he started out with a change on who took the first faceoff. Michael Handzus took the first faceoff of the game on the first line spot usually reserved for Jonathan Toews.
The Blackhawks made a much better start to the game than they had in the past two, spending more time in the Red Wings' zone and getting back to the style of puck possession that they prefer, instead of constantly chasing down the opposition. Additionally, the Detroit defense kept making bad turnovers at the beginning of the game. Things were looking good for Chicago.
Perhaps the summary of this series, and particularly this game, can be summed up by the second period: Jonathan Toews was assessed three penalties in a row, one of which included Justin Abdelkader taking his own stick to his face.
The first goal of the game, coming with just one second left on Toews' second penalty, as Jakub Kindl broke the Blackhawks 30-PK streak and put Detroit on the board with a PPG.
Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford did everything he could to keep the Blackhawks in the game, but the closest the Blackhawks came to scoring were a few pucks pinging off the posts; Jimmy Howard's outstanding goaltending was the story of the night as the Blackhawks were blanked for the first time this season.
With Crawford pulled in the final minute play, Daniel Cleary put in an empty-net goal to salt the game away.
After dominating the West and sweeping Detroit in the regular season, the Blackhawks now find themselves down 1-3 to the Red Wings and facing elimination on Saturday night at the United Center.