Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings -- Game 2

Discuss: Red Wings even up series, take down Chicago 4-1


It was a perfect road playoff game for the Detroit Red Wings and they were able to even up their series with the Chicago Blackhawks earning a 4-1 victory in Game 2.

Detroit did things so much differently compared to Game 1. Babcock’s complaints about not getting out of their own zone were adjusted and the Wings could get their offense going. Goals from Damien Brunner, Brendan Smith (thanks to a nice feed from Henrik Zetterberg) and a snipe from Johan Franzen did the job to establish the lead. Valtteri Filppula’s goal with under eight minutes to play was the highlight reel goal to put a bow on it.

Now the series heads back to Detroit all knotted up at 1-1. Game 3 is on Monday at Joe Louis Arena.

Here are your talking points:

— Both teams have worn each other out in the third period. Chicago did it in Game 1 and Detroit today. So… Who’s for real here?

— Detroit gave the Blackhawks a taste of their own medicine with the scoring coming from all sorts of people. Depth scoring is so important in the postseason but the one constant? Zetterberg with two assists.

— How about the Wings outshooting the Hawks? Jimmy Howard’s day was kept easy facing just 20 shots. Corey Crawford had his hands full in facing 30 shots, stopping just 26.

— Chicago’s penalty kill continues to be their major strength as they haven’t given up a power play goal yet in the playoffs. Detroit’s man advantage didn’t do much.

— On the downside, Chicago took a few dumb penalties to slow down any chance they had to steer the game back in their direction. Not giving up goals is fine, killing your opportunities to get back in the game is also not helpful.

— Where was Chicago’s urgency? A home game against a hated rival and outside of the first period there was no push back. Detroit scored twice in the second and kept on rolling.

— Detroit now takes home-ice advantage in the series. How much will that help them out?

Here are the highlights from Game 2:

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Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: