After Hawks' barrage, Wings seeking help for Howard

After Hawks' barrage, Wings seeking help for Howard

May 16, 2013, 4:00 pm
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Nina Falcone

The outcome of Wednesday's Game 1 matchup resulted in two drastically different outlooks for the Blackhawks and Red Wings.

While the Blackhawks thought they played their best game so far this postseason, the visiting team expressed opposite feelings. The Red Wings kept up with the home team in the first period, keeping the score tied and holding a 7-6 edge in shots on goal after the first 20 minutes at the United Center. But after that things started to unravel for Detroit, and after allowing the Blackhawks a total of 41 shots on goal by the end of the game, the Red Wings plan on giving goaltender Jimmy Howard a lot more assistance throughout the remainder of the series.

"(Howard) was unbelievable for us again, really gave us a chance to win, but it would've been if we'd gotten one on the power play there," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said following his team's 4-1 loss. "We had a few chances but couldn't really find a way to score a goal."

[More: Red Wings working on playing a complete game]

It was a tough night for the Red Wings, both offensively and defensively. The team only had 21 on shots on goal by the end of the matchup -- almost half of what the Blackhawks had earned. It was Howard's performance that kept his team in it up until the third period.

"We weren't good enough in front of (Howard)," coach Mike Babcock said. "We gave (the Blackhawks) too many opportunities and made some key mistakes down the stretch. During the second period… we didn't skate well or move the puck well. So you put those two together and it makes for a tough night for him."

It was indeed a tough night for Howard, who faced nearly double the shots Corey Crawford did on the other end of the ice. But at the same time, the big saves he made could give the Blackhawks more trouble in the future, especially if Detroit's defensive game picks up. For now, the Red Wings will practice and rest before returning and battling for a win in Chicago.

"We're definitely due, we didn't beat the Blackhawks all year," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "It's one game, it's up to four, so we're not too high, we're not too low. Now we'll go back to Detroit and figure out a game plan and hopefully have a better outing on Saturday."