For 59 minutes, the Blackhawks appeared to be headed to a first round series against division rivals from Nashville. But a last-minute goal for the Red Wings pushed the game into overtime – and the Hawks into sixth place – before Patrick Kane undressed Jimmy Howard for the shootout winner.
The scripts for most of regulation time was typical for this year’s Blackhawks. Chicago’s two goals came from secondary players, Viktor Stalberg and Andrew Shaw, and they weren’t able to keep their opponent off the scoreboard.
Despite reaching the 100-point plateau and being just seconds away from a fifth place finish in the Western Conference, the Blackhawks finished the regular season without a shutout.
However, Corey Crawford finished the regular-season with an 8-1-2 record, 1.85 GAA and a .921 save percentage (232-of-252) over his final 11 appearances. He was outstanding the entire game on Saturday, including against all three Detroit attempts in the shootout.
Patrick Sharp added two assists in the game, giving him 69 points (33 goals, 36 assists) in 74 games this season. Stalberg’s goal was his 22nd of the season, and Shaw finished the campaign with 12 goals and 23 points in only 37 games.
Chicago will face the Pacific Division champion in the first round of the playoffs, which begin Wednesday.