The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Sunday afternoon in a game that meant little to either team.
Chicago had been mathematically eliminated from earning a playoff spot three days earlier, while Detroit had clinched first overall on that same day.
The Red Wings rested many of their regulars, with Brian Rafalski, Chris Chelios, and Dallas Drake healthy scratches and others seeing their minutes drastically reduced but it was still captain Nicklas Lidstrom leading the way, scoring twice en route to the win.
Jiri Hudler opened the game’s scoring at 7:21 of the first period, taking a pass from behind the goal by Darren McCarty and tipping it past Nikolai Khabibulin from in front.
The assist marked McCarty’s first point in his second stint with Detroit.
Lidstrom’s first of the game put the Wings up by a pair with 1:31 left in the second period. While skating on a five-on-three, Lidstrom blasted a shot from the top of the left circle past Khabibulin.
Mark Hartigan made up for a gaffe that nearly led to a Chicago goal early in the third, taking the puck on a giveaway by Khabibulin and putting it into the net at 6:28.
Lidstrom added his second with 5:58 remaining, scoring another power play goal on a long blast, this one deflected off the skate of defender Duncan Keith.
Patrick Kane broke the shutout with just 2:20, scoring on the power play with Jonathan Toews in behind Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek.
Hasek stopped 27 Chicago shots, doing his part to protect the Red Wings’ league-leading goals-against to earn the team the Jennings Trophy, split between Hasek and Chris Osgood.
Khabibulin made 34 saves on 38 Detroit shots.
The Red Wings will now wait until the playoff schedule is made official to find out when Game One of their first-round series with the Nashville Predators will begin.