Chicago at Detroit (12/30/08)

Tonight the Blackhawks came to Detroit for a preview of the Winter Classic coming up on New Year’s Day.  Lidstrom wasn’t ready to play yet after injuring his ankle but further tests have shown that there’s no fracture.  He’s expecting to play on Thursday in the outdoor game.  Samuellson was also out since he wasn’t feeling well.  Meech was playing forward to fill in for him.  The Hawks came into this one streaking on an incredible nine win run which is a franchise record.  The goalie for Chicago was Khabibulin and Conklin was in for the Wings.

In the first period Patrick Kane was hit by Cleary and had to leave the bench.  His right leg twisted awkwardly under him.  It looked like it might have been bad but he was able to return in the second period.  That’s good news for the Hawks and for hockey fans in general who like to see great players.

Detroit got the first goal of the game.  It was scored a power play in the first period.  Holmstrom was screening the goalie and Datsyuk snapped the puck into the corner of the net.  That was some good teamwork by the power play unit.

That was the only goal of the first period.  There were a lot of good saves at both ends.  Chicago was badly out-shooting the Wings halfway through the period but by the end of the first Detroit had caught up and passed them on the shot total.

In the second period things got a little chippy and more physical.  This matchup is turning out to be a pretty good rivalry (again).  The two teams don’t seem to like each other all that much.

Later in the second Detroit got another power play goal.  They were moving the puck well and it came to Franzen down low.  He had absolutely no room to shoot at but somehow he picked the top corner so well that it hit Khabibulin on top of the shoulder and just barely snuck in under the crossbar.  That was one of the most precise shots I’ve ever seen.

That was the only goal in a very exciting second period.  Holmstrom took a puck in the face and left the ice to get stitches.  He was in front of the net on a power play and got hit by a long slap shot.

Just 37 seconds into the third period Franzen added to his goal tally.  The puck went to the boards behind the net and Franzen went after it and forced his way to the front of the net.  He pushed the puck into the net between the goalie’s legs.  That was a great example of how strong he is.

Past the halfway mark of the third period Filppula caught the puck in the Red Wings end with his glove.  He turned with it, dropped it and then started up ice.  It probably should have been a penalty but it wasn’t caught.  That created a breakaway chance and he passed up ice to Kopecky.  He made a move with it and blew it past the goalie putting the Wings up four nothing.

This was a great game.  Even though the score was lopsided the Hawks still played pretty well.  Some of the passion from this game will hopefully carry over to New Year’s Day.  The Red Wings played very well for the entire game and Conklin was very sharp as well.

This 4-0 win brings us to:
53 points

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