Detroit Red Wings hand Chicago Blackhawks fourth straight loss 3-2 – NHL Recap
Detroit Red Wings successfully held their nerves at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, to first force the game to overtime and then score in the extra period to hand Chicago Blackhawks their fourth straight loss of the 2011-2012 National Hockey League
(NHL) regular season, 3-2, on Sunday, January 8, 2012.
After starting the game substantially well, the Blackhawks could not resist the aggression from Detroit, who came back sharply to level the scores and sending the game to overtime where they built on the momentum to get a deserving victory.
To ignore goalie, TY Conklin’s achievement would be sheer injustice.
In the third period, he stopped a penalty from Jimmy Hayes to keep his teams’ hopes alive, which could have otherwise resulted in the Blackhawks facing a potential loss.
"It was great for Conks, because for him it's been a long time coming," Detroit coach, Mike Babcock, said about the goalie. "It gives him confidence and it gives me confidence to use him and it gives our team confidence. This is a big step for Conks here,
personally, for himself."
Conklin made 29 saves in the game while his Blackhawks’ counterpart, Corey Crawford blocked 24 shots from going into his net.
The loss became more tormenting for the Blackhawks as they gave away a dominating lead to fall behind.
In the first period, they scored their first goal when Marian Hossa and Nick Leddy assisted Dave Bolland for his ninth goal of the season.
Within the next minute, the Blackhawks doubled their lead at 4:19 as Michael Frolik and Hossa assisted Patrick Sharp for his 20th.
With a two-goal lead, the task of winning seemed easy. However, the Red Wings were not going to give up so easily.
They initiated a comeback in the same period with Valtteri Filppula receiving an assist by Henrik Zetterberg and Jiri Hudler, to score his 14th goal of the season, reducing the deficit to one goal.
Both teams tried hard to score in the mid 20 minute period but failed to add any shots that actually went through the concrete defence.
The Blackhawks prevented their opponents from scoring for most of the part of the final period and it looked as if they would get victory, but that did not happen as the Red Wings finally got an opportunity late in the period.
At the 15:15 mark, Zetterberg and Filppula combined to set up Daniel Cleary whose goal levelled the score. The third period ended at 2-2, forcing the game heading into an overtime extension.
At 3:08 in the extra period, Jonathan Ericsson and Johan Franzen assisted Pavel Datsyuk who scored the game-winning goal for the Red Wings.
The Blackhawks are leading the Central Division, but their recent slump has allowed other teams to close in on their position.
“It's a one-, two-point swing here, everybody's in the mix. I see this battle going on all year and the conference is tightening up, as well. But we did give away a lot of ground here this week and it's up to us to regain where we're at,” Blackhawks coach
Joel Quenneville said.
They will now play against Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, January 10, whereas the Red Wings will take on New York Islanders the same day.