Red Wings Down Blackhawks in Game Three to Take 2-1 Series Lead

The Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks for the second consecutive game on Monday night, taking a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference Semifinal matchup on the strength of a 3-1 win.

Pavel Datsyuk scored at 6:46 of the third period to halt a Chicago comeback and seal the victory. After Johan Franzen gained the Chicago zone, he dished the puck off to Datsyuk for a heavy wrister from the right faceoff circle over the shoulder of Blackhawks’ goalie Corey Crawford to make it 3-1.

Patrick Kane had gotten Chicago on the board 2:11 earlier. After Franzen was seemingly boarded in the Blackhawks’ zone, Duncan Keith flipped a long pass out to Kane in the neutral zone, springing him in all alone to beat Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard and cut the Red Wings’ lead to 2-1.

The Blackhawks thought they had tied things up just moments later but their apparent second goal was called back for goaltender interference as Andrew Shaw was perched in Howard’s crease.

After a scoreless first period, Gustav Nyquist opened the game’s scoring at 7:49 of the second. Damien Brunner chipped the puck into the Chicago end and Nyquist chased it down before skating around defenseman Brent Seabrook and outwaiting Crawford, lifting a shot over the sprawling pair.

Just 31 seconds later, Patrick Eaves batted his own rebound in behind Crawford, with Johnny Oduya diving to keep the puck out of the net. Drew Miller was there too, though, and poked the puck off Oduya’s stick and across the goal line to make it 2-0.

Howard finished the night with 39 saves on 40 shots. Crawford stopped 27 of 30 Detroit chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had five tries with the extra attacker to Chicago’s four.

Game Four will be in Detroit on Thursday night.

On the Kane Goal and Shaw Interference

Not surprisingly, there’s already been a lot of talk about Patrick Kane‘s goal (or, more precisely, the uncalled penalty immediately prior to it) and the apparent Chicago goal immediately following it that was called back due to goalie interference.

We’ve seen the “Two wrongs make a right” theory (a penalty should have been called which would have negated Kane’s goal so the wrong call was made on the Shaw interference to make up for it), the “Holmstrom Interpretation” (what Shaw did was cause for many negated goals when Tomas Holmstrom did it) and the “What if a Blackhawk had been boarded and a Wings’ goal disallowed” scenario.

I hate the idea of make-up calls. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what happened here but they’ll never admit it, especially since they can hide behind the Holmstrom Interpretation if they want.

I also can’t get behind the idea that changing something later to make up for something that happens earlier actually makes up for it, as we have no idea how things would have played out if the first call had been made differently. Maybe the Red Wings would have scored on their power play rather than Kane scoring and it would have been a drastically different 3-0 game. We’ll never know.

I want to run with the “what if” scenario, though, and give it a different twist. What if the disallowed goal had come first?

It seems to me that disallowing what would have been a second goal to make up for the first being allowed when it shouldn’t have (what we may have seen unfold tonight) causes much more of an uproar than the reverse. If a ‘Hawks goal had been called back on a weak goalie interference claim and then Chicago scored on a play where a penalty should have been called, I just get the feeling that it would have been seen as more “correct” than what actually happened, even though the result (as far as the score goes) is the same.

Or maybe that’s just late-night rambling from me. I don’t know.

Pregame: Blackhawks @ Red Wings – Game 3 – 5/20

The Red Wings head home to host the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Three of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup tonight, with the series sitting tied 1-1.

The ‘Hawks will be looking to bounce back from Detroit’s 4-1 win in Chicago on Saturday afternoon. They’re swapping Daniel Carcillo out of the lineup in favor of Viktor Stalberg.

The Wings will have no lineup changes.

Stupid stat of the day: Every Red Wings game on May 20 has been an overtime loss. 4-3 to Colorado in 2002 and 2-1 to Anaheim in 2007.

Game time is 7:30 PM on NBCSN.