It was a different start time for the Chicago Blackhawks, a noon local puck drop as opposed to the late-night fare of the first round. And it was a different Detroit Red Wings team on the other side.
“The guys once they get into it, they don’t mind playing in the afternoon,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said before the game. “We’ve got to come prepared and anticipate a harder game from the first time.”
It officially was, and the series is officially a series. The Hawks sleepwalked all afternoon and third-period scores from Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula put it away for the Red Wings, who notched a 4-1 win in Game 2 and tied the series at 1-1 going into two games in Detroit next week.
The Hawks managed just 20 shots on goal the entire game.
A stretch pass from the Red Wings’ Jonathan Ericsson found Franzen, who skated in and roofed a shot home for the two-goal advantage at the 7:19 mark of the third period.
Later, Henrik Zetterberg led a 3-on-2 charge and dumped it to Filppula, who skated through the Hawks zone and got a screen from Daniel Cleary to beat Corey Crawford for the 4-1 lead at the 12:03 mark.
Brendan Smith and Damien Brunner scored second-period goals to erase a Patrick Kane score — his first of the postseason — that gave the Hawks an early lead.
In the first period, Smith tried to intercept a Johnny Oduya oulet pass near the blue line but was knocked off the puck by the Hawks’ Patrick Sharp. That precipitated an odd-man rush, and Sharp’s feed deflected off a Red Wings defender to Michal Handzus, who fed Kane for the score at the 14:05 mark.
It was just Kane’s second playoff goal in 20 games since scoring the Stanley Cup winner in 2010.
Corey Crawford, meanwhile, was stout against a more aggressive Red Wings attack, stopping 12 first-period shots — the most significant a denial of Cory Emmerton on a shorthanded breakaway — to keep the Red Wings off the board.
It didn’t last. The Red Wings moved the puck through the zone against a Hawks defense more or less standing still, and then Kindl unloaded from near the blue line. Brunner deflected the puck from the slot and tied it 1-1 at the 2:40 mark.
The Hawks continued to mount next to no offense, and then a defensive flub compounded the issues. Niklas Hjalmarsson fell while pursuing a puck with Zetterberg, leaving the Red Wings captain to skate to the net unopposed. He then found a streaking Smith for an easy score, making it 2-1 at the 16:08 mark.
It could have been worse, too, had Crawford not stoned Justin Abdelkader with 3.8 seconds left in the second on a point-blank blast after a turnover.
No shockers in the lineup department for the Hawks. Michal Handzus will play in Game 2, as expected, after missing a third straight practice on Friday. Viktor Stalberg again will be a healthy scratch, also as expected.
And that dynamic may not be altered if the Hawks continue to have the success they had in Game 1.
“I don’t like changing too much, but we wanted to get (Dave Bolland) in our lineup,” Quenneville said. “It’s comparable to what we’ve done during season. But we’ll see. We can adapt and change at any moment.”
By Brian Hamilton Tribune reporter