After a Game One that saw the Red Wings unable to generate any offense while dropping a 4-1 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit turned the tables in Game Two, evening their series while carrying play in a 4-1 victory of their own.
The series will shift to Joe Louis Arena for Game Three on Monday.
Brendan Smith – having taken the blame on several plays throughout the playoffs – ended up with the game-winning goal on Saturday afternoon. With 3:52 remaining in the second period, Smith jumped into the play as Henrik Zetterberg drove to the net, getting wide open in the left faceoff circle to take a pass and snap a shot past Chicago netminder Corey Crawford.
At 7:19 of the third Johan Franzen extended the Detroit lead. From inside his own zone, Jonathan Ericsson hit Franzen with a stretch pass at the Chicago blue line, springing him in all alone to whip a shot past Crawford to make it 3-1.
Valtteri Filppula finished off the scoring with 7:57 left to play. Zetterberg won a faceoff in his own zone and carried the puck down the left wing to cross the Blackhawks’ blue line before dropping it off to Filppula. Filppula cut to the slot and as he was tripped, slipped a shot past Crawford.
Chicago’s Patrick Kane had opened the game’s scoring with 5:55 remaining in the first period. Smith missed a check on Patrick Sharp on the left wing, leaving the Blackhawks on an odd-man rush. In front of his own goal, Kyle Quincey cut off a cross-ice pass from Sharp to Kane but the puck came right up top to Michal Handzus, who pushed it on to Kane alone in the left faceoff circle for a shot past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.
Damien Brunner evened things up at 2:40 of the second period, deflecting a Jakub Kindl shot from the blue line past Crawford to make it 1-1.
Crawford finished the game with 26 saves on 30 shots against. Howard made 19 saves on 20 shots.
Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had four chances with the man-advantage to Chicago’s two.
Detroit’s Drew Miller
made his 2013 playoff debut, returning from a broken hand suffered late in the regular season to replace Todd Bertuzzi
on the fourth line.