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The Low Road Has No Exits: Red Wings 4, Blackhawks 1

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The Blackhawks were unable to continue their winning streak, losing 4-1 in Detroit.

Chicago Blackhawks v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Blackhawks opened game one of a two game series with a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Red Wings on Thursday night at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Thursday night’s Central Division matchup saw Chicago open the scoring late in the first period when Duncan Keith scored from the left wing circle. Keith was able to find the back of the net after he and Kirby Dach hit back-to-back goal posts.

Despite being out shot 7-3, the Blackhawks led 1-0 after the first period. This would change when Troy Stecher’s shot from the point took a bad bounce off of Kevin Lankinen and into the net, tying the game at one before the first intermission.

The Red Wings took the lead during the middle frame. With time running out during 4-on-4 play, Jakub Vrana scored on a breakaway:

Detroit scored once more in the second period, when Stecher was able to sneak beneath the dots and tap in his second goal of the game from the red line, giving the Red Wings a 3-1 lead after two periods.

Detroit remained dominant for much of the third period and would ultimately grab two points, with a 4-1 victory.

Notes

  • The Blackhawks’ transition offense, with which they've found success this season, was shut down early and was ineffective. Despite this, they made no adjustments and were unable to set up camp and cycle in the offensive zone.
  • The Hawks came up empty on three power plays. Along with goaltending, the power play has been their bread-and-butter in most victories this season. Lately, though, the Hawks power play has faltered. While Detroit protected the house, the Hawks remained stationary and were unable to create shooting lanes.
  • Regardless of the circumstances, it always sucks losing to the Red Wings. And it's especially true in a season when Detroit has proven to be certified basement dwellers. The Hawks simply have to come up with two points against them if they want to make the playoffs.
  • Silver lining: The Predators also lost on Thursday. That bodes well for the Blackhawks.
  • While this season was supposed to be a rebuild and was meant to develop young talent, the Hawks team performance has gotten worse. Playoffs or no playoffs, this was a frustrating performance by all accounts. The Blackhawks continue to run into the same problems: Struggling at even strength, lacking puck possession, not being able to cycle in the offensive zone, not staying in position defensively and so on. The book is out on the Hawks and when the goaltending and special teams have not been there to bail them out, it has been very, very ugly.
  • In terms of a playoff race, the Blackhawks didn’t have the magic tonight. To quote Don Tibbles, “You better find the damn magic ... and you better find it fast.”

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Troy Stecher (DET) - 2 goals
  2. Marc Staal (DET) - 2 assists, 51.35 Corsi-for percentage
  3. Jakub Vrana (DET) - 1 goal, 3 shots

What’s next

The Blackhawks close out their season series with the Red Wings with a 6 p.m. puck drop on Saturday at Little Caesars Arena.