The Red Wings held out longer than expected, but that game eventually turned into the bus crash you secretly expected it to be. Get ready for the first in what should be a lot of minuses in this series.
9:03, 1st period, 1-0 Blackhawks (PP)
Gustav Nyquist takes a hooking penalty. Brendan Smith loses a battle behind the Red Wings net and the Blackhawks get it out to the point. Smith chases out and doesn’t do anything. The puck goes down in the corner to Kyle Quincey who gives it to back to Smith on a pass that may have been intended for Cory Emmerton. Smith fails on his clear, one quick pass to Marian Hossa later and it’s in the net. Responsibility: Gustav Nyquist (0.25), Brendan Smith (0.75)
8:02, 3rd period, 2-1 Blackhawks
Jonathan Ericsson battles in the corner, finally wins the puck and then sends a weak backhand pass up the boards directly to a Blackhawk. The puck comes to Patrick Kane who walks up the boards and draws a puck-watching Dan Cleary to him while Johnny Oduya slips into the slot wide open. Two passes later Oduya puts it off the post and in. Responsibility: Dan Cleary (0.5), Jonathan Ericsson (0.5)
11:23 3rd period, 3-1 Blackhawks
The puck is dumped into the corner and gets caught up on the back of the net. Despite Damien Brunner, Gustav Nyquist and Niklas Kronwall around him, Dan Carcillo beats all of them to puck. Nyquist takes a circuitous route behind the net. Brunner half-heartedly battles for it. Howard tries to hold it against the mesh but fails and gets his stick caught while doing so.
Kindl glides in as the fourth-man into the zone (how a defenseman is the fourth man into the zone, I don’t know), and fails to check for the trailer, Marcus Kruger. Instead, Kindl converges on Michael Frolik, who Kronwall kind of sort of had, and leaves Kruger wide open to find the loose puck and backhand it into the net. This was just horrible defense all around. I’m hesitant to put part of the blame on Jimmy Howard after he stopped 38 shots, but he’s either got to forget about the puck on the net or be strong enough to hold it there and get the whistle. Responsibility: Damien Brunner (0.20), Gustav Nyquist (0.20), Nicklas Kronwall (0.20), Jakub Kindl (0.20), Jimmy Howard (0.20)
Empty nets don’t count.
10:57 1st period, 1-1 Tied
Jonathan Ericsson takes the puck behind the Red Wings’ own net, fends off a Blackhawk and makes an outlet pass to Gustav Nyquist, who passes cross-ice to Damien Brunner. Brunner takes a shot on net. Nyquist hustles to the rebound and hits the puck towards the net again. It eventually sidles over to Brunner and he smacks it in from the side of the net. Responsibility: Jonathan Ericsson (0.33), Gustav Nyquist (0.33), Damien Brunner (0.33)
Your four least valuable players:
1. Brendan Smith (-0.75 goals)
2. Dan Cleary (-0.5 goals)
3. Nicklas Kronwall (-0.2 goals)
4. Jakub Kindl (-0.2 goals)