The Chicago Blackhawks fell 4-2 to the rivaled Detroit Red Wings in their final matchup of the season, but there was something else added to this game that made it a bit more edgy.
Friday night was last game for between the Blackhawks and Red Wings at the Joe Louis Arena. In one of the most iconic venues in sports history, the Hawks have shared great times and bad times alike.
Entering the matchup, however, the Hawks wanted to get bragging rights of the last win between the two in the home that kick-started one of the league’s greatest rivalries.
The game starting phenomenal for the Hawks. Patrick Kane fed a one-timer pass from the backhand to Artemi Panarin, allowing him to score his 21st goal of the year and get the Hawks on the board 4:23 into the opening period.
Despite the good start, the Hawks ended up coughing up a 1-0 lead, undeservingly giving momentum to the Wings.
Xavier Oullet and Andreas Athansiou scored two goals in the final 3:27 of the first period, giving them a 2-1 lead and giving the Wings something to be happy about–well you know, since they won’t be making the playoffs.
Unfortunately, the Wings dominance still stood entering the second period. Tomas Tatar was able to clean up a jumpy rebound in front of Corey Crawford after a shot from Gustav Nyquist in the high slot. Crawford saw nothing of the rebound, giving way to a 3-1 Detroit lead.
The Hawks didn’t want to make the third period any harder for themselves, so squeaking in a goal in the dying minutes of the second period was vital for the possibility of a comeback. Luckily, Trevor Van Riemsdyk was able to slam home his fourth goal of the year in the dying moments of the period, cutting the deficit to one goal.
For nearly the entire period, the Hawks pushed down the ice and put Jimmy Howard through many trials, but couldn’t seem to find the back of the net.
Between each line, they did all they could to get down the ice and put pressure on the Wings, but they soon found out that the Wings had the better end of the stick in this game.
Tatar was able to go top-shelf from the slot, clinching the win with 4:29 remaining in the third period.
Not the first time Tatar was able to ruin a party for the Hawks, but oh well, let them have it.
Fans should be more upset that they lost to Detroit for the last time in the Joe, rather than losing with a game in hand to the Minnesota Wild. Regardless, the Hawks are going to make the playoffs and compete at a high level. The opponent isn’t anything the Hawks need to worry about.
To you Detroit fans, we’ll see you next season in your new arena.