It’s appropriate that, in the final game between the Blackhawks and Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, fans were treated to a fight and a close game.
The Blackhawks didn’t dress Niklas Hjalmarsson or Johnny Oduya after both returned to action on Thursday night at home. Michal Kempny and Michal Rozsival both got into the game in their place, and Andrew Desjardins dressed for Jordin Tootoo. Dennis Rasmussen was a healthy scratch again.
After a high-volume shot night on Thursday, Chicago struggled to get the puck on net early. One early shot got past Jimmy Howard, though, when Patrick Kane set up Artemi Panarin for his 21st of the campaign.
Ten minutes after the Panarin goal, Justin Abdelkader did what Justin Abdelkader does. He finished a high hit on Brian Campbell that would have resulted in a charging penalty, but Trevor van Riemsdyk stepped up after the cheap shot and dropped the gloves. Abdelkader received two minutes for charging and five for fighting; TvR received the two minute instigator, five for fighting and a ten minute misconduct.
After the fight, everything went the Red Wings’ way.
While Chicago had the post-fight power play, Xavier Ouellet tied the game with a short-handed goal. And the dreaded final minute goal against showed up for the Hawks once again as Andreas Athanasiou gave the Wings a 2-1 lead with eight seconds left in the first period.
Detroit out-shot Chicago 10-6 just 24 hours after the Hawks put 19 on net in the opening 20 minutes against Anaheim.
Tomas Tatar extended the lead to 3-1 with his 16th of the season at 15:17 into the second, and the Hawks appeared to be off a bit.
But Chicago didn’t go away, and continue to chip at the Detroit momentum. The Hawks were able to turn the tables with a final minute goal of their own as TvR scored his fourth of the season to get the Hawks to within one with 45 seconds left in the second period.
The Hawks out-shot the Wings 11-10 in the second period but were getting dominated at the dot. Chicago was short-handed twice in the first 50 minutes, with Dylan Larking drawing both penalties; Rozsival hooked him in the first and Brent Seabrook hit him with a high-stick in the third.
With a little less than five minutes in regulation, Henrik Zetterberg picked Kane’s pocket and set up Tatar for his second of the night,
Coach Joel Quenneville got hyper-aggressive after the goal. He sent Nick Schmaltz out for the faceoff between Marian Hossa and Ryan Hartman, and then pulled Corey Crawford with 3:44 left in regulation. But Jonathan Toews got called for tripping and the Hawks were short-handed, down two with 3:26 left in regulation.
The Hawks couldn’t get anything done the rest of the way, and Chicago’s eight-game road win streak ended in Detroit.
In his 900th career regular season game, Michigan State product Duncan Keith skated 24:58 with one blocked shot.
Also on the blue line that was without Hjalmarsson and Oduya, Kempny had one shot on net and one blocked in 14:56 and Rozsival was credited with two hits in 16:41 in the loss. TvR had one hit and one blocked shot and skated 15:29 with 17 penalty minutes. Campbell was one of three Hawks skaters with a team-high two blocked shots (Toews and Artem Anisimov the others) but was minus-three in 18:12. Seabrook led the Hawks with four shots on net in a team-leading 26:29 on the ice.
Toews won 11 of 25 faceoffs and had three shots on net and one hit with his two blocks. Anismov, also minus-three, won five of 14 at the dot. Tanner Kero won half of his ten faceoffs.
Former Red Wing Tomas Jurco led the Hawks with three hits but skated only 8:13 in his return to Detroit. It was the second time in as many days that he was held under ten minutes of ice time by Quenneville. Desjardins skated 8:24 with two hits.
Crawford stopped 25 of 29 in defeat.
The Blackhawks are back on the ice for an 11:30 AM CST start against Minnesota on Sunday.