Perhaps the Chicago Blackhawks were a day early to take vacation, as a listless effort resulted in a 4-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at home Sunday afternoon. The power play continued to struggle, and the offense never seemed in sync as the Hawks needed a victory to jump to the top spot in the Wild Card.
As much as we (the fans) enjoy the idea of Sunday morning starts, the Blackhawks struggled to show up to Sunday brunch as Detroit opened the game with a host of scoring chances. The Red Wings would find pay dirt twice in two minutes as Dylan Larkin and Mike Green helped put Detroit ahead 2-0 within the first seven minutes of the contest. The Wings would fail to put a shot on net for the remainder of the period, but Chicago would fail to get on the scoreboard before the end of the first.
The Blackhawks (22-17-6) continued their slow play in the second when Gustav Forsling was whistled for interference, giving Detroit (18-18-7) a man advantage in the first minute of the second period. This time, Chicago prevented any shots on goal during the power play. The successful penalty kill gave the Hawks some much needed momentum, but Chicago couldn’t solve Detroit goaltender Petr Mrazek.
Jeff Glass kept the Hawks in the game with a crazy sequence of saves, but Chicago still did not manage to find the back of the net in the second period. Notably, the Chicago PK line successfully killed off its 19th consecutive penalty.
Detroit’s leading scorer took the remaining air out of the building early in the third period, as Anthony Mantha scored his 15th goal of the season off a great feed from veteran Henrik Zetterberg. The goal followed a relatively lame power play effort from Chicago that opened the period, and lifted the Detroit lead to 3-0. Newly added winger Tyler Bertuzzi would add his first career NHL goal for the Red Wings later in the period, sealing the victory for Detroit.
Staff writer Dave Melton said it best:
Efforts like this are ones you look back on in April when a playoff spot is missed.— Dave Melton (@_DaveMelton) January 14, 2018
The Blackhawks have next week off, before returning to action next Saturday at home against the New York Islanders.
CHI goals: Watch some Netflix. Hang on the beach... Oh, you meant in this game?
DET goals: Larkin (7), Green (5), Mantha (15), Bertuzzi (1)
Pooped Power Play
Chicago’s power play has been 0-for-9 since lighting up the Ottawa Senators with four power play goals last Tuesday. With no goals in three appearances and limited shots on goal during the man advantage, the Hawks will need to find a winning lineup combination during the bye week and dig their power play percentage out of the bottom of the NHL.
Top Line Tussles
Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad, and Vinnie Hinostroza had a rough game ... again. Anthony Duclair even got some time there, which didn’t amount to anything, either. The top line failed to score for the third straight game, which has been a hot topic of discussion for most of the season. We thought the addition of Hinostroza would continue to ignite Saad and Toews, but maybe the three just need a week off to rest.
Limited Ice Time for Surging Third Line?
After defeating the Central Division leading Winnipeg Jets on Friday night using a red-hot third line, Alex DeBrincat, Anthony Duclair, and David Kampf saw less ice time in today’s contest. Not sure why Joel Quenneville decided to keep them away from play, but it sure doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when the team is looking to make a push for the playoffs ASAP.
1. Petr Mrazek (DET) - 27 saves, first shutout of the season
2. Tyler Bertuzzi (DET) - 1 goal, 1 assist, first career NHL goal
3. Anthony Mantha (DET) - 1 goal, 1 assist