The Detroit Red Wings couldn’t hold off a sustained attack by the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday night, dropping a 4-1 decision in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinal series between the teams.
After a first period that saw Detroit outshoot Chicago 7-6, the Blackhawks had a 36-14 shot advantage for the remainder of the game.
Former Red Wing Marian Hossa opened the game’s scoring at 9:03 of the first on a Chicago power play. When the Red Wings were unable to clear their own zone, Jonathan Toews sent a pass from the right faceoff circle to Hossa in the slot for a quick shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to make it 1-0.
Detroit responded just 1:54 later. Streaking down the left wing, Damien Brunner attempted a shot from the top of the faceoff circle that was blocked. He continued after the puck, though, and batted his own rebound past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford to tie things up.
Howard held off the Blackhawks’ push in the second period but Johnny Oduya put Chicago back out front at 8:02 of the second. Oduya snuck in from the point to take a feed from Patrick Sharp in the slot and snap a shot past Howard.
With 8:38 remaining in the period, Marcus Kruger put the Blackhawks up by a pair. Off a dump-in the puck ended up on the back of the Detroit net. Howard attempted to hold it there for a faceoff but it was knocked free and came out to Kruger in front for a backhander into a mostly-vacated net.
Sharp added an empty-net goal in the game’s final minute.
Hossa’s goal was the only power play tally of the night. Each team had three tries with the man-advantage.
Howard stopped 38 of the 41 shots he faced. Crawford made 20 saves on 21 shots against.
Game Two will be Saturday afternoon in Chicago.
The Red Wings are now 0-7 all-time in series opening games played in Chicago.