The Chicago Blackhawks got the win, but not the kind they wanted.
Patrick Kane scored the only goal of the shootout to give Chicago a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday in the final game of the regular season for both teams.
The Blackhawks, though, have to settle for the sixth seed in the Western Conference. They needed a regulation win to move past Detroit into the fifth seed.
”Basically, what are you going to do? They played a pretty good game today. It’s tough when you’re giving up leads,” Kane said.
Chicago led 2-0 eight minutes into the third period but Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk scored for Detroit in the game’s final 11:49 to tie the game, send it into overtime and cement the Blackhawks in sixth place.
They will play the Pacific Division winner, either Phoenix, Los Angeles or San Jose in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin next week.
”It’s going to be a battle come Wednesday or Thursday, no matter who we get,” Chicago’s Patrick Sharp said.
Datsyuk scored with 46 seconds left in regulation with goalie Jimmy Howard pulled for the extra attacker. He drove a loose puck into an empty net off a tight cross-crease pass from Tomas Holmstromsfor his 19th goal.
”I just had to shoot in the empty net. They gave it to me.” Datsyuk said. ”It was a privilege to score in the empty net.”
The Red Wings will play No. 4 Nashville in the first round.
”It’s huge. Now we’re not going out to the West Coast. For the last few years we’ve been back-and-forth to the Western time zone,” said Howard. ”We’ve been out there enough times. It’s nice we’re not going there to start, but to be there in June you’ve got to beat some real good teams.”
Detroit has played Phoenix in the first round and been eliminated by San Jose in the second round the past two seasons. This is only the second time the Red Wings will start the first round on the road in their 21-consecutive playoff appearances. They were the fifth seed and began in Phoenix in 2010.
Viktor Stalberg and Andrew Shaw scored for Chicago in regulation. Sharp had two assists and Corey Crawford made 30 saves.
Blackhawks’ coach Joel Quenneville pulled Crawford for the final 20 seconds of regulation with the game tied, trying for a regulation win.
”I said going into the game, `there’s no bargains out there. All four teams eligible to play we had losing records against. Wherever the chips fell, that was the chance,’ ” Quenneville said. ”We said going into the game, if we have to pull a goalie we’ll pull him.”
Howard stopped 30 shots.
Franzen put Detroit on the board 8:11 into the third period with his 29th goal. His shot from the right corner trickled through Crawford.
Stalberg opened the scoring with his 22nd goal with 9:46 left in the first period. He put a rebound between Howard’s pads.
Shaw made it 2-0 with 2:40 left in the second period when he put in a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle for his 12th goal.
Nicklas Lidstrom and Niklas Kronwall both hit the goal post for Detroit during a power play with less than 7:30 left in the middle period.
Notes: Chicago agreed to terms with goaltender Ray Emery on a one-year contract extension. Emery, 29, is 15-9-4 with a 2.81 goals-against-average in 34 games this season. . Detroit forward Riley Sheahan made his NHL debut. He was the Red Wings’ first-round pick (21st overall) in the 2010 NHL draft. Sheahan signed a three-year entry-level contract on Thursday.