The Detroit Red Wings got All-Star goaltender Jimmy Howard back in the lineup Tuesday night but couldn’t provide scoring support for him as they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Howard stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced in his first game back from a broken index finger.
Detroit had opened the game’s scoring and led after the first period but the Blackhawks rallied with goals in the second and third.
Just 2:22 into the game, Valtteri Filppula threaded a shot from the high slot through traffic and past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford with the Red Wings on a power play to make it 1-0.
Chicago’s Jimmy Hayes tied things up at 7:45 of the second. Howard stretched to stop a deflected Bryan Bickell shot but Hayes was all alone in front of the net to put home the rebound.
Marcus Kruger gave the Blackhawks the lead at 1:53 of the third, knocking a rebound chance past the sprawling Howard.
Though the Red Wings seemingly had little energy and had trouble gaining the Chicago zone, they managed to outshoot the Blackhawks, with Crawford stopping 31 of the 32 shots he faced.
One plus for Detroit to take away is having scored with the extra attacker, with Filppula’s goal coming on one of their three power play chances. Chicago was scoreless on three power play attempts.
The Red Wings will be back in action on Thursday when they return home to take on the Vancouver Canucks.
The Red Wings were without forward Pavel Datsyuk, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier in the day. He is expected to miss at least two weeks… In addition to Howard, forward Danny Cleary returned to the lineup after missing five games with a knee injury… Defenseman Kyle Quincey, acquired only hours before the game, did not join the team in Chicago. He is expected to play on Thursday.