The Blackhawks were looking for the same type of game against Detroit here on Sunday as they got in Detroit on Wednesday. And for the first few minutes, they did. And then again for the last few minutes, they did.
So just forget about those middle minutes where the Red Wings outshot them.
The Blackhawks swept their two-game series with the Red Wings, beating them 4-1 on Sunday. The score was deceiving: the Blackhawks got two early goals that chased goaltender Petr Mrazek from the game and two late ones that made it look like a more lopsided victory than it actually was. But the Blackhawks will take the win, no matter how it came.
So before we head home and enjoy an evening – yes, a whole evening – let’s look at the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over the Red Wings.
1. Corey Crawford does it again. The Blackhawks have relied on Crawford several times this season, and they did it again for a good portion of Sunday afternoon. Crawford was especially good in the second period, when the Red Wings outshot the Blackhawks 13-3. Crawford was recently named to Team Canada for his work. There’s no doubt he’s been a workhorse for the Blackhawks this season.
2. Patrick Kane establishes a new season high. Well, he’s done that every time he’s scored a goal since he surpassed his previous best of 30 established in the 2009-10 season. On Sunday he set another new mark, this for points, with 89. That previous best (88) was also set in 2009-10.
3. The net-front presence is back. The Blackhawks’ two third-period goals were an Artem Anisimov redirect (for a power play goal) and a shot that went off Jonathan Toews’ body. Both players were planted in front of the net, and when the Blackhawks do that they’re bound for more scoring success. Said Toews, “it’s just kind of under appreciated what that net-front guy means. And going back to what’s kind of made the difference in our power play, I guess you could say lately it’s definitely one of them.”
4. Artemi Panarin grabs a two-point night. Panarin seems to have replaced Patrick Sharp as the left wing who will try to rip one from the left circle. He’s done well there, his third-period snipe from there turning into Anisimov’s redirected power-play goal. In the second matchup of rookies Panarin and Dylan Larkin, Panarin was the one coming away with points again.
5. Staying atop the Central Division. The Blackhawks are doing it, albeit by the razor-thin margin of regulation/overtime victories. If they finish there, they’re thrilled. If they don’t, they’ll live. But there’s no doubt the race to the Central title is going to be a thrilling one between them, the Dallas Stars and the St. Louis Blues.