Pregame: Todd Bertuzzi will be in the lineup. Jan Mursak will be scratched.
13:16 Shots are currently 10-0 for Detroit. Corey Crawford looks admittedly sharp early on.
12:35 Blackhawks finally get a shot on Jimmy Howard. (It was Michael Frolik.)
11:22 Tomas Holmstrom and Cory Emmerton get a very good scoring chance off a stretch pass by Jonathan Ericsson, but Crawford makes both saves.
8:51 Duncan Keith is bleeding on the bench– took a puck to the mouth.
7:56 Chicago penalty to Marcus Kruger for hooking.
7:04 GOAL for Ian White! Shot from blue line, may have been redirected by Holmstrom or Nicklas Lidstrom on the way through.
Goal awarded to Homer on the deflection.
5:17 HUGE save by Howard on a Frolik shot resulting from a bad bounce– Howard tried to play the puck and it bounced over his stick, but Howard got down for the pad save.
3:50 GOAL for The Todd! Pavel Datsyuk makes the pass to spring Bertuzzi on a breakaway, and The Todd makes no mistake in deking Crawford.
And at the end of the first we have a score of 2-0 and a shot differential of 21-4. I kind of almost feel bad for Crawford. The key now is to keep up the pressure. Come on boys, keep bringing the wrath!
12:36 Stop in play due to a hand pass. Jakub Kindl is slow to get up, but is skating around and seems okay.
11:40 Game moving a lot more slowly in the second period. Shots currently 2-1 Chicago.
10:03 Howard actually has to make a good save. Stop in play for the puck being knocked down with a high stick.
6:35 Howard makes an AWESOME double save on Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews!
5:06 Chicago goal for Andrew Shaw. Howard makes a miscue playing the puck behind the net, and Shaw intercepts to put it into the empty net.
4:22 Detroit penalty to Ericsson for hooking.
Shots 8-7 Detroit in the second.
Chicago has a LOT of pressure early in the third period. Howard is not getting any support from his defense, which isn’t really helping matters.
13:32 Double minor to Drew Miller for high-sticking Shaw.
Only two shots by Chicago on the double power play.
9:32 Miller got an outlet pass and breakaway as he escaped from the penalty box, but Crawford came up with the save.
5:06 Henrik Zetterberg has a beautiful scoring chance after a prime display of offensive zone puck possession, but it rings off the post!
1:50 Darren Helm and Danny Cleary have a 2 on 1 breakaway, but Cleary’s shot rings off the post. I detect a theme.
1:35 Chicago pulls Crawford for an extra skater.
0:56.7 Chicago timeout.
0:51.7 Goal for Marian Hossa to tie the game– deflects off Lidstrom’s skate on the way through.
You know, it just figures with the standings so tight and all, that we can’t have a game with a clean two point win! On our way to overtime. Shots 16-5 Chicago in the 3rd.
0:38.3 GOAL for The Todd! Valtteri Filppula makes a shot from a tight angle. Bertuzzi picks up the rebound and knocks it in past Crawford.
Not bad for a guy who didn’t even know if he’d be playing today!
Now the Red Wings have tied their franchise record for 14 straight home wins set in 1964-65.
Next up: The Wings will try to set a new home win record when the Buffalo Sabres come to town, 7:30 Monday night.
Confession: I’m kind of tired of seeing the Blackhawks. This is their third meeting with the Wings in 16 days.
The season series is tied 1-1, both games having been played at the United Center. The Wings’ win came this past Sunday, when, as you’ll recall, notable thug Jiri Hudler slashed poor innocent Patrick Sharp’s wrist, putting poor innocent Sharp on injured reserve for 3 to 4 weeks (to hear the Chicago media and Eddie Olczyk of NBC Sports tell it), or maybe Sharp fell and landed awkwardly on his wrist later (to hear reality tell it).
The Wings will definitely be without Mike Commodore today (foot) and could also be without Todd Bertuzzi (back)– The Todd says he’s a game time decision. Jan Mursak will likely be the benched forward if Bert can go. Jimmy Howard is expected to start in net, and go for his 101st win. Howard thinks the early afternoon start time makes for a pleasant change to the usual game day routine. “I like them, just from the aspect that you wake up and you get to come to the rink and play,” Howard said. “There’s no pregame skate, no waiting around. You get up and you play and then you’ve got the rest of the day to relax.”
Mike Babcock agrees, perhaps a little too eagerly. “I like no morning skates, I like five o’clock games the best. But I like afternoon games, too, and I like it at home when you can spend the afternoon, or go for dinner, with your family. I think it’s fantastic. I think every road game that you travel home for should be like baseball. You should have an afternoon game, but I don’t think they’re (the NHL) very interested in what I think.” But Coach, what about us fans who can’t watch games at work? I think I kinda have to side with the League on this one!
Aside from poor innocent Sharp, the Blackhawks will also be without Dan Carcillo, who put himself out for the season by hurting his knee nailing Edmonton’s Tom Gilbert into the boards on January 2nd. (The hit was violent enough that league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan gave Carcillo a seven game suspension for it.) Corey Crawford will most likely be the starting netminder.
My game prediction: Doc Emrick will say something genuinely nice and congratulatory about Howard being named to the All Star Game and getting his 100th career game all in the same day, and Edzo will immediately change the subject to how great and powerful Crawford is.
In the end, hype aside, this is an ordinary two point mid-season game, but those two points could be more valuable than gold in this tightly contested Central Division race. Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News sums up the standings situation nicely:
Chicago leads the Central Division with 57 points (26-13-5). St. Louis trails by a point (25-12-6, 56 points) and the Red Wings are two points behind (27-15-1, 55 points). Nashville, incidentally, has 52 points (24-15-4), which gives the Central the Nos. 2, 4, 5, and 6 spots in the Western Conference playoff chase. All would be playoff teams.
And I’ve actually read internet comments that say the Central is a weak division. Gag me with a spoon.
Also, with a win today, Detroit would have 14 straight home wins, which would tie the franchise record set in the 1964-65 season.
Note that today’s game is on the actual NBC national network, not the NBC Sports/former Versus. So that’s channel 4 in Detroit and channel 10 down here in the wastelands of Toledo. (We do also get channel 4 on our cable, but the cable company blocks it out during national sporting events to make us watch channel 24 instead, which is sad because the channel 4 reporters will on occasion get commentary from Mickey Redmond during intermissions. Oh well.)
Let’s go, Red Wings! *clap clap clapclapclap*
(And to think my husband said I wouldn’t be up early enough on a Saturday to get the game preview done before the game. Ha!)
Pregame: Aside from Darren Helm and Tomas Holmstrom back in the lineup, Mike Commodore is also in, replacing Jakub Kindl (healthy scratch). Chris Conner also a healthy scratch.
Ty Conklin is 8-6-1 lifetime against Chicago. (One of those wins was the 2009 Winter Classic, you know.)
17:19 Slashing penalty to Jonathan Ericsson.
16:25 Goal for Marian Hossa. Dave Bolland wins a faceoff, and Hossa’s shot deflects off Nicklas Lidstrom’s shot past Conk.
15:41 Goal for Patrick Sharp. Off his own skate to his stick, then short side past Conk.
13:41 The Wings get a decent scoring chance– Valtteri Filppula drives the net, but Corey Crawford makes the save.
9:56 Possible injury to Brad Stuart– accidentally sticked in face by Filppula. Off to room for stitches most likely.
8:34 Chicago penalty to Andrew Brunette for roughing.
6:44 Chicago penalty to Brent Seabrook for slashing.
6:31 GOAL for Filppula! Henrik Zetterberg made a nifty cross-crease pass and Fil taps it in with Todd Bertuzzi screening.
Brad Stuart is back on the ice, per Bill Roose’s Twitter feed.
Okay. It was a slow and dreadful start, but the Wings looked better as the period wore on. Let’s keep it up. Shots even at 9. Pavel Datsyuk was 6 of 7 on faceoffs, and the Wings blocked 9 Chicago shots.
Andrew Shaw gets KRONWALLED. It’s fairly delicate for a Kronwalling, and even Pierre says it’s a clean hit (before Eddie can get in and complain).
Conk has made a couple of big saves here in the start of the 2nd.
13:24 Detroit penalty for too many men on the ice, to be served by Bertuzzi.
Darren Helm had a breakaway shot on the PK. Oh Helmer, we’ve missed you so.
8:03 Detroit penalty to Kronwall for interference.
Good pressure by Detroit for the last few minutes of the period, but shots 11-6 for Chicago during the 2nd. Conk looked strong.
Blackhawks’ Twitter feed reporting that Patrick Sharp will not return to the game. (Upper body injury.)
19:12 Penalty to Danny Cleary for holding.
12:07 Looks like a penalty shot is going to be awarded to Chicago– Holmstrom saved a goal by closing his hand over the puck in the crease area. Shot to be taken by Jimmy Hayes (1st career penalty shot).
CONK WITH THE SAVE!
7:45 Good defensive move by Kronwall to steal the puck & prevent a Patrick Kane shot.
4:45 GOAL for either Cleary or Filppula! It was a mad scramble in front of Crawford off the rebound of a Zetterberg shot.
What a scramble for the last few minutes of the game! End to end at full speed. But we are going to overtime.
As of now, the tying goal has actually been awarded to Hank, not Cleary or Fil.
3:08 Conk holds off a press by Bolland and Shaw.
1:52 GOAL for Pavel!!!!! Hard work getting the puck away from right where Crawford was about to cover it with his catching glove, then patiently lifts a high shot from an incredibly tight angle. Assist to Ericsson.
Now we have a three-way tie in the Central Division– Detroit, Chicago, and St. Louis all have 53 points. Detroit will show as the leader in standings lists for having 26 wins to the other teams’ 24 each.
Next up: Red Wings at New York Islanders, 7:00 on Tuesday.
Just some quick lineup notes prior to tonight’s game:
Darren Helm and Tomas Holmstrom will be back in tonight’s lineup. The penalty kill and power play are thankful.
Gustav Nyquist was sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
No word yet on whether it will be Chris Conner or Cory Emmerton as the spare forward tonight, but if I had to guess I’d say Emmerton. I’d think Mike Babcock would want to put the Helm-Conner-Danny Cleary line back together since the three of them had developed some pretty great chemistry before Helm’s groin injury.
Ty Conklin will be our goalie of the day.
The Wings did NOT have a morning skate today, after the late night of leaving the Air Canada Centre, getting to the Toronto airport and through Customs, flying to Chicago, getting through Customs again, and getting to their hotel.
Chicago plans on starting Corey Crawford in net. Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith did not take part in this morning’s skate, but they will be in the lineup tonight. Dan Carcillo will be out, still serving his suspension for his big hit on Tom Gilbert of the Oilers.
Both teams are coming off a loss, and both are in the unfamiliar position of looking up in the standings at the St. Louis Blues (seriously) , so be expecting a, shall we say, ill-tempered game tonight.
You can find the game on NBC Sports Network (the former Versus).