Blackhawks Take Early Lead, Cruise to 4-1 Win over Red Wings

The Chicago Blackhawks scored twice in the first 4:32 Friday night, all the scoring they’d need as they held off the Detroit Red Wings for a 4-1 win.

Patrick Sharp opened the game’s scoring with a power play goal just 1:04 in. Jonathan Toews won a faceoff in the right circle back to Brent Seabrook on at the point. Seabrook sent it along the blue line to Sharp for a one-timer past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

It was 2-0 3:28 later, when Bryan Bickell jumped off the bench and into the play in the Detroit end, snapping a shot from the high slot past Howard.

Just 27 seconds later, Patrick Eaves got Detroit on the board. A Jonathan Ericsson shot went wide of the net and off the boards behind the goal, bouncing back out the other side for Eaves to put past Chicago netminder Corey Crawford.

Former Red Wing Tomas Kopecky restored the two-goal lead at 11:22 of the second. On a delayed penalty, Kopecky got in behind the defense and took a feed from Brian Campbell, beating Howard one-on-one.

Kopecky added an empty-net goal in the game’s closing minutes to wrap up the scoring.

Chicago scored on their only power play, as well as on the delayed call of the only other penalty of the game. The Red Wings were without a power play for the first time in six years.

Crawford stopped 29 of 30 shots against. Howard made 27 saves on the same number of chances.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Sunday when they host the Dallas Stars as Chris Osgood goes for his 400th career victory.

Red Wings – Blackhawks Pregame Notes

It’s Chris Chelios Heritage Night in Chicago tonight but some say he’s been tainted by his time in Detroit. Personally, I love the fact that the Red Wings took a Chicago icon and turned him into one of our own. The Blackhawks can try to claim Bob Probert all they want, we still love him. We made them hate their hero.

The Red Wings sit atop the Central Division (and the Western Conference) while the Blackhawks are in the basement. Both teams are slumping a bit as of late, though slumping is relative. The Wings are 6-3-1 in their last ten but the three losses are of only seven total on the season. The Blackhawks are 5-4-1 over the same time period and have lost two in a row to the Colorado Avalanche.

Chicago will start backup goalie Corey Crawford. Jimmy Howard gets the start for Detroit after the Wings’ players convinced Mike Babcock to give Chris Osgood the start at home on Sunday, with the chance to get his 400th win in front of the Joe Louis Arena crowd.

Changing up the goalie schedule to accommodate a possible milestone worries me. Especially with how the Wings usually play on Sundays.

Drew Miller is back onto the Wings’ fourth line in place of Kris Draper.

Chicago will be without Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, and Victor Stralman.