Blackhawks slip up in 5-4 shootout loss to Red Wings

Blackhawks slip up in 5-4 shootout loss to Red Wings
January 22, 2014, 10:00 pm
Share This Post

DETROIT – The Chicago Blackhawks knew exactly what they were going to get from the injury-laden Detroit Red Wings.

They were going to get the same effort that the injured St. Louis Blues put threw at them in late December, the same effort the injured Colorado Avalanche threw at them earlier this month. And while the Blackhawks matched it from the third period on, it wasn’t enough.

Marian Hossa scored his 21st goal of the season and Patrick Sharp his 26th, but Darren Helm garnered the shootout winner in the Wings’ 5-4 victory over the Blackhawks on Wednesday night. It was the first time the Wings beat the Blackhawks in regulation since January of 2012, and it was a performance that left coach Joel Quenneville disappointed.

“We weren’t very good tonight. They were the harder working team,” Quenneville said. “Getting a point out of there, we’ll take it, because we didn’t play well enough to earn (two).”

Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kruger also scored for the Blackhawks, who remain in second place in the Western Conference, three points behind idle, first-place Anaheim.

The Blackhawks and Wings spent the third period playing that great, back-and-forth, exciting hockey that’s become synonymous with their rivalry. But the Blackhawks, despite having a 2-0 lead early and later a 3-2 edge, weren’t very sharp through the first 40 minutes. The Wings, featuring a lineup without Pavel Datsyuk and Daniel Alfredsson, among others, got a more determined effort and, by the end of the second period, a 4-3 lead.

“They skated better than us tonight. We were a half step behind. Otherwise we did a lot of good things,” he said. “We got the game to overtime and the shootout, but we weren’t successful.”

Ah yes, overtime, the five-minute period in which the Blackhawks have yet to record a goal this season. They couldn’t get one on Wednesday night, either, but it wasn’t for lack of chances – the Blackhawks outshot Detroit 5-2 in those five minutes. But once again it came down to a shootout, where Helm beat Corey Crawford for the winner.

“We had some nice chances. It is what it is,” Jonathan Toews said of the Blackhawks coming up empty in overtime. “There’s no real explanation for it. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t.”

The Blackhawks are going to get a lot of teams’ best efforts this season; Wednesday night was another example of that, despite the Wings’ injury-hampered lineup. It’s a testament to the Blackhawks’ talent and depth that, despite a rough game, they still got a point. Yes, the Blackhawks came up empty in overtime and the shootout again, but this one wasn’t about the final five-plus minutes as it was the first 40 or so.

“You knew they were going to be excited for the challenge. The guys up from Grand Rapids (the Wings’ minor-league affiliate) work hard, have some skill and are relentless,” Quenneville said. “It was workman-like on their side, and not so much on ours.”