by Vince Maranto on 03/05/12 at 11:46 AM ET
Yes, this is the third in a row of my “Hawks Edge” series. The two teams again, as they have every time they have faced each other this season, played a game that was decided by one goal. The Hawks took a very hard to get 2 points out of the Joe in Detroit. This is something only a handful of opponents have managed to do this season. Datsyuk & Lidstrom were out for Detroit, and Toews, Hjalmarsson and Montador remain out for Chicago.
It was Emery (13-8-2) in net for the Hawks against Howard (33-13-2). The lines for the Hawks have remained pretty consistent during this 3 game win streak. The D match ups were also unchanged. With both Montador and Hjalmarsson joining the team in morning skates, it will be interesting to see who’s out when they return. I would guess that Olsen will return to Rockford and Lepisto would go back to healthy scratch status, but we shall see.
The first period played out like a typical Chicago / Detroit game, fast moving, big hits, and shots ringing off the posts. The Red Wings were the first to ring iron within the opening minutes. A Hawks Power Play (16.1 %, 22nd in the league) 2 of 7 recently after that awful 1 for 39 stretch, ensued. Sharp got on the board with a shot that appeared to be redirected off a Wing body. Just a few minutes later, Kronwall answered on a shot that may have also been redirected. 1 - 1.
A successful Hawks Penalty Kill (78%, 27th in the league) was had. Detroit hit the post again later in the period. The Hawks overall were a little too cute in their pass attempts. I thought that they passed up too many shot opportunities, and were only credited with 5 shots on goal (Detroit had 8) in the first. Turnovers, again, were a problem.
Surprisingly, Joey MacDonald came out to play in the crease for the Wings in the second period. (Howard was out for a lower body injury) I was hoping to see the Hawks challenge him early, but there were very few shots taken. The Hawks also has 2 Penalty Kills in the first 8 minutes, including another Wings shot off the post. The Hawks went on the Power Play, but unfortunately, the best scoring opportunity came from Detroit’s Miller as time winded down. Shaw & Smith dropped the gloves later on, and both got 5 minutes. Then, pressure in back of the Detroit net led to a pass by Sharp to Kane in front. A nifty little, forehand, backhand move made the score 2 - 1 Hawks. There was a late penalty on Chicago that would carry over into the third period. It should also be noted that Kindl left the game for Detroit during this period with an injury.
The Carry over PK was successful to start the third period. The Wings pressured the Hawks early. A Power Play (too many men) 7 minutes in never even got organized and Detroit pressured the Hawks even more. It was clearly mostly Detroit in the third. There was very little time spent in the Hawks offensive zone. MacDonald was pulled and the game went down to the last second, but Emery and the Hawks prevailed.
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