Red Wings to Face Predators in Round One After Shootout Loss to Blackhawks

The Detroit Red Wings will meet the Nashville Predators in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs following the team’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

Had the Red Wings defeated the Blackhawks, they would have at least temporarily jumped into fourth place in the Western Conference standings. A loss would have left them in sixth place. Their single point locked them into fifth place, visiting fourth-placed Nashville to start the postseason.

Pavel Datsyuk scored with just 47 seconds in regulation to pull Detroit into a 2-2 tie with the Blackhawks and force overtime. With Wings’ netminder Jimmy Howard on the bench for an extra attacker, Henrik Zetterberg worked the puck to Tomas Holmstrom at the side of the Chicago crease. With the defense collapsing in on him, Holmstrom sent a pass across the net-mouth to a wide open Datsyuk, who knocked it home.

After a scoreless overtime, Patrick Kane would score the only goal of the shootout, beating Howard between the pads after a series of fakes. Datsyuk, Jiri Hudler and Todd Bertuzzi failed to score for the Red Wings while Patrick Sharp was stopped on Chicago’s second chance.

Viktor Stalberg had opened the game’s scoring with 9:46 left in the first period when he was left uncovered to pick up the rebound of a Sharp shot from the point and throw it back between Howard’s pads.

Chicago made it 2-0 with 2:40 left in the second on a goal by Andrew Shaw just after the expiration of a power play. With Bertuzzi coming out of the box, the Red Wings left Shaw alone in the slot to take a feed from Sharp and snap it past Howard.

Johan Franzen started Detroit’s rally at 8:11 of the third period, throwing a shot on goal from the right wing that somehow found its way between the pads of Chicago netminder Corey Crawford.

Crawford finished the afternoon with 30 saves on 32 shots while Howard stopped 31 of 33 chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal in the contest. The Red Wings had two power play attempts while the Blackhawks had six.

Detroit’s first-round playoff schedule is expected to be announced on Sunday.


Detroit forward Riley Sheahan made his NHL debut wearing No. 15. He swapped into the lineup in favor of Jan MursakDanny Cleary was the other forward scratch for the Red Wings, with Patrick Eaves and Darren Helm still hurt… Jakub Kindl was the healthy scratch on defense.

Postgame: Blackhawks @ Red Wings – 4/7

I’m a little confused about the Red Wings’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Blackhawks this afternoon.

I feel like the Wings didn’t play to their potential but I can’t point to a lot of specific plays that back that up. It was a solid game by both teams and in the end Detroit just didn’t do enough, or didn’t get the bounces, or whatever you want to call it.

It was a much better effort than we saw Thursday against the Devils, though, so I’m comfortable going into the playoffs off of that game.

Speaking of the playoffs… We don’t have to wait for any of the night games to know what the Wings will be doing now. They’ve locked up the fifth seed and will visit the fourth-seeded Nashville Predators to open the first round.

I agree that Nashville is a very good team but I disagree with those thinking it’d be better to have dropped to sixth to take the Pacific Division champion. You don’t pick your poison at this time of year. Nashville is a known quantity and they’re not far away. There are pluses to go with the negatives.

Supposedly the schedule will be released tomorrow.