Blackhawks lose to Red Wings 3-2 in shootout

On Wednesday night, we got a reminder of what we as hockey fans lost when the league restructured into the current two conference, four division format: a prime rivalry between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings.

The Blackhawks started the game with the kind of powerhouse posession and shooting that has defined much of their season, outshooting the Red Wings 17-6. They would end the game 34-38 SOG, but the Blackhawks also led by a wide margin of attempted shots on goal - 23 attempts blocked and 17 missed shots, versus 20 AB and 6 MS for Detroit. The Blackhawks led on the faceoff dot, also, at 54%.

Amazingly, after Chicago's prolonged presure and action in the Detroit end of the ice, it was the Red Wings who scored first, Tomas Tatar putting one in late in the second. The Blackhawks would respond just 39 seconds later with Brandon Saad tying up the game.

Darren Helm would give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead with 2:06 remaining in the game. But the Blackhawks were not to be put away so easily, and Kris Versteeg tied the game 2-2 with 1:23 left in the period.

Overtime wasn't enough, and so it went on to the shootout - which is usually Corey Crawford's place to shine. Unfortunately, tonight, it was Jimmy Howard's night, and Howard won his first shootout in eight tries this year.

The Blackhawks host the Colorado Avalanche at the United Center on Friday night.

Three Stars:

1. Darren Helm - DET
2. Jimmy Howard - DET
3. Brandon Saad - CHI