Franzen, Tatar spur Red Wings’ big second period vs. Blackhawks
Even though the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks are now in different conferences, there is still a lot of energy left in the Original Six rivalry.
Johan Franzen and Tomas Tatar both scored during Detroit’s dominant second period, and the Red Wings beat the Blackhawks 4-1 on Friday night.
Franzen scored his fifth goal, with an assist from Henrik Zetterberg, at 4:49 of the second to break a 1-1 tie. Tatar added his fifth 1:10 later when he sent in a rebound of Joakim Andersson’s shot.
The Blackhawks were outshot 20-8 in the period.
"I thought that was the best game we’ve played this season," said Jimmy Howard, who stopped 25 shots for his seventh victory.
"I think that’s one of the biggest rivals we miss playing. It’s always fun when you get to play them."
These teams meet only twice since Detroit moved to the Eastern Conference before last season, but the atmosphere felt the same as when they were in the same division.
A smattering of vocal Blackhawks fans were in the stands but they had little to cheer after Detroit converted a pair of takeaways to take the lead for good.
"We served up a second pizza," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said of the first two goals his team allowed. "The first goal was a tough play and the second goal was a tough play."
Patrick Kane had a giveaway to set up Franzen’s game-winner.
"It’s unforgiveable to make a turnover that bad," he said. "Pretty sloppy game. A lot of turnovers, a lot of giveaways."
Detroit hadn’t played since Sunday and seemed much fresher in the second period. That was fine with Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.
"It’s always nice to look fast against a good opponent," he said. "I thought we did a real good job in the second period to tilt the rink a little bit.
"I like us to play fast; I like us to play in attack mode."
Luke Glendening put Detroit on the board six minutes in when he backhanded a rebound of Drew Miller’s shot past Corey Crawford, who finished with 32 saves. Kane scored Chicago’s lone goal during a power play later in the first.
Brendan Smith put the game away with an empty-net goal.
The Blackhawks’ goal came less than a minute after Howard made three point-blank saves to deny Kane. Howard didn’t have to work nearly as hard the rest of the night.
"I was just tracking the puck," Howard said. "He got a couple of whacks at it, but I was able to get my glove on it before he got it."
The game matched the NHL’s two best penalty-killing teams, and Chicago kept its league-best average above 90 percent after holding the Red Wings without a goal on three power plays.
Detroit welcomed back center Pavel Datsyuk, who had an assist after missing two games because of a sore groin.
NOTES: Blackhawks D Johnny Oduya was back after being forced out of Tuesday’s win against Tampa Bay when he blocked a shot. … Red Wings RW Tomas Jurco, a healthy scratch the previous three games, returned to the lineup. … Chicago forwards Patrick Sharp (knee) and Daniel Carcillo (lower body) sat out. … The Red Wings recalled G Petr Mrazek from Grand Rapids of the AHL and assigned G Tom McCollum to Grand Rapids.