Western Conference Finals, Game 2 (5/19/09)

Tonight the Blackhawks were in Detroit for game two. The lineups were unchanged from game one. Osgood and Khabibulin were the goalies.

The first 10 minutes of the game seemed pretty even which is advantage Chicago in my opinion. The Hawks were a bit more aggressive than the Wings and won most of the small battles.

Detroit got the first power play when Chicago was called for too many men on the ice. The power play was pretty effective but, although the Wings generated a lot of opportunities, they didn’t score.

Next the Blackhawks had a power play when Samuelsson was called for crosschecking. On the power play Stuart was called for tripping. The Hawks had a 5 on 3 for 59 seconds. The Red Wings killed off the 5 on 3. Then Samuelsson had a chance to clear it but he threw it right to the point where Barker took it and gave it to Havlat. Havlat passed it to Toews who shot from below the goal line to the front of the net. The puck went hit Ericsson’s skate and went into the net giving the Hawks the one nothing lead.

A few minutes later Holmstrom was called for goaltender interference. It really wasn’t much. He bumped Khabibulin a little bit when he was losing his balance trying to avoid him. During the power play Detroit got some offense going shorthanded. Toews ended up tripping Datsyuk trying to get the puck back. It was 4 on 4 for a few seconds and then the Wings had a power play. During the power play Datsyuk won a faceoff in Chicago’s end and got it to Lidstrom. He passed it to Rafalski who moved along the blue line and snapped one. It looked like it was tipped by Hossa and then by Holmstrom and into the net. The game was tied at one. The goal was awarded to Rafalski so maybe it wasn’t redirected. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is changed later.

The first period ended with the score still tied at one. Chicago outshot Detroit 19 to 13. Luckily Osgood was brilliant. He made one big save after another to keep his team in the game. The Wings looked good and had a lot of scoring chances but Khabibulin was good as well.

Early in the second Pahlsson was called for holding. Osgood made a huge save on a shorthanded chance by Bolland. Then Seabrook was hit somewhere up high by a hard shot from Rafalski. He went off the ice under his own power but he was struggling. With just over a minute left on the power play Lidstrom was called for high-sticking Walker. Detroit killed off the penalty and actually generated a lot of offense while shorthanded. The kill gave them some momentum and they continued pressuring at even strength.

Detroit continued playing really well for the rest of the second period. They were really buzzing and winning all the little battles. With about six minutes left Cleary jumped on a loose puck and took off towards the net all alone. Just like in the previous game he released a beauty of a shot that beat Khabibulin. This time he went five hole. That gave the Wings the lead by one.

Near the end of the second period Lidstrom was called for holding. The Red Wings killed the penalty but the Hawks would have over a minute of power play left to start the third.

Detroit outshot the Hawks 12 to 3 in the second period but they were still trailing overall. It was a much better period for the Wings. They really amped things up compared to the first period.

The Wings killed off the rest of the power play to start the third period. Then Chicago was called for goalie interference and Osgood was also given a simultaneous call for holding. The 4 on 4 was exciting but there were no goals scored.

With just over seven minutes left in the third Versteeg released a shot from the point with Byfuglien and Toews in front. Toews redirected the shot and it went it to tie the game at two.

The rest of the period was all action but nobody was able to score so the game went to overtime.

After about five minutes of good overtime action Samuelsson stole the puck in his defensive zone. Hudler started up ice and Samuelsson led him with a nice pass and then followed along with Filppula. It was a three on one. Hudler passed across to Filppula. Filppula passed it back to Samuelsson in the slot and he nailed the game winner. It was just beautiful! What a great way to end the game.

The Wings played pretty well in this game but they still got off to a slow start. They’re lucky that the slow starts haven’t cost them yet in this series. This game obviously could have gone either way. Once they get the momentum they’re really playing well but they need to start playing hard right from the beginning.

This 2-3 overtime win brings this Western Conference Final series to 2-0 Detroit.

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