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The Detroit Red Wings have accomplished over the last four days what few teams were able to do throughout the entire NHL season:
Frustrate the Chicago Blackhawks.
Frustrated is exactly what the Blackhawks are as they trail their best-of-seven series with the Red Wings 2-1.
On Monday night, Detroit beat Chicago 3-1 in a game where everything boiled over. Chicago captain Jonathan Toews was visibly irate — he’s yet to score a goal this postseason and has just one point in this series — and the ‘Hawks were livid with a disallowed goal after Andrew Shaw was adjudged to have interfered with Jimmy Howard.
The Blackhawks’ frustrations also manifested into penalties. Chicago had 22 PIM to Detroit’s 10 in Game 3, including six penalties in the final period (which included Shaw’s 10-minute misconduct).
So, how is Detroit doing it?
One key has been Howard, who’s out-dueled Corey Crawford for most of this series. Howard has stopped 58 of his last 60 shots faced and has snuffed out the potent Chicago attack.
Another key has been the play of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
Zetterberg had a pair of assists in a 4-1 victory on Saturday and Datsyuk was at his sniping best on Monday, unleashing this wrister for his first goal of the series.
So yes, things are pretty good around Detroit Right now.
But one guy doesn’t want the players resting on their laurels.
Head coach Mike Babcock — who himself has impressed this postseason — was quick to point out the Wings have been great so far, but shouldn’t get too far ahead of themselves.
“Things are going in the right direction for us thus far in the series,” Babcock told the Detroit Free Press. “But let’s be honest. We haven’t done anything yet.”
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.
As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.
Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.
Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.
PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).
Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.
In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.
Gaborik’s first goal:
And here’s video of the OT-GWG:
Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.
With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.
Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.
“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?
Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.
Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.
It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.
Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.
On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?
It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?
* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.