Chicago Blackhawks Rally Back in Series to Beat Detroit Red Wings


Game 7. The game players dread, and the game that players live for and dream about when they lay their heads on their pillows at night. Chicago went down 3-1 in the series after dominating game one. The Wings allowed the Hawks back into the series by losing the next two.

And so, game 7 it shall be. The Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks. A rivalry as old as the NHL itself that is seeing the end of it’s days as Detroit will be heading East following this season. It’s easy to see from watching the games played between these two teams that they aren’t ready to let this rivalry die without a good hard fought series.

The first period saw pressure going both ways, but Chicago saw the most of the chances. A few minutes into the game, Andrew Shaw knocked Valtteri Filppula to the ice after the play. Filppula limped down the tunnel with the Red Wings trainer and did not return to action the rest of the game. It is unclear exactly what is ailing Filppula, but he was seen on crutches, leading most to believe it to be an ankle injury. Detroit killed both minor penalties they received in the first period. The adjustments made by Mike Babcock on the penalty kill made it very difficult for the Hawks to get into the offensive zone and sustain pressure. Chicago killed their only penalty and the period ended scoreless.

The second period was all Chicago. The Blackhawks put constant pressure on Jimmy Howard and the Red Wings defense, and it all finally paid off when Patrick Sharp scored on a 3 on 1 after a pass from Marian Hossa gave him a wide open net to shoot on. A bad line change from Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson lead to the odd man advantage for Chicago. Chicago sustained pressure for most of the period, only allowing Detroit 6 shots in the second stanza. Both teams ended the second period with an empty powerplay, but Chicago held the advantage on the scoreboard at 1-0.

Only twenty minutes remaining of hockey remained. A surging Blackhawks team looked as if they would be able to control the play into the third as they did in the second, but the Wings came out with a spark. Gustav Nyquist fed Henrik Zetterberg with a beautiful pass to the slot where the Detroit captain made no mistake in putting the puck into the empty net. With the game tied at one a piece, Detroit continued putting pressure on the Hawks. The Hawks gained momentum back when Ericsson took a penalty to stop a breakaway chance by Patrick Sharp. The Hawks continued to press, and that’s when things got crazy. Niklas Hjalmarsson ripped a shot from the point and beat Howard to give the Hawks the one goal lead. But wait, there’s more. Behind the play, Brandon Saad was hit by Kyle Quincey in retaliation to a shot Saad put on Zetterberg. The referee back on the play blew the whistle before the goal was scored to call coincidental minors on Brandon Saad and Kyle Quincey. The period ended with some 4 on 4 hockey that saw a couple chances, but nothing would go. Game tied at 1 a piece after 60 minutes, and the Wings have only the hockey Gods to thank.

So onto overtime we went, and can it get any better than that. Game 7, and a chance to send the other team home with one simple flick of the wrist. Brent Seabrook was set to be the hero in the series, as he wristed a shot from the point and a quick deflection off of Kronwall helped the puck find it’s way to the back of the net. Chicago wins in overtime, in a game 7 after dropping games 2, 3, and 4 to the Red Wings. Chicago outplayed the Wings in most of the series and deserved to win. Chicago will advance to the Western Conference Finals to face off with the defending Stanley Cup Champions Los Angeles Kings.