CHICAGO — For 40 minutes, the Red Wings were hanging right with the Chicago Blackhawks. At least on the scoreboard they were.
In reality, the Blackhawks were dominating the Red Wings from the second period on and defeated Detroit 4-1 in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.
Marian Hossa opened up the scoring in the first period with a one-timer past Jimmy Howard on the power play to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. But Damien Brunner scored less than two minutes later to tie things up and that’s the way it would stay until the third period.
A big reason the game remained tied going into the third was Jimmy Howard. The Red Wings netminder made 17 saves in the second period alone. However, in the third period the Blackhawks finally broke through.
Johnny Oduya scored 8:02 into the final frame and Marcus Krueger added another three minutes later to put Chicago up 3-1. Patrick Sharp added an empty-netter to give the Blackhawks a 4-1 win.
Howard stopped 38 of the 41 shots he faced. Chicago’s Corey Crawford had a much easier night, making 20 saves on 21 shots. Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET Saturday in Chicago.