NHL Game Summary - Chicago at Detroit
(Saturday, April 11th)
Final Score: Chicago 4, Detroit 2
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Dustin Byfuglien scored on a penalty shot with 27.6 seconds left in the third period, as the Chicago Blackhawks edged the Central Division champion Detroit Red Wings, 4-2, at Joe Louis Arena.
With the contest tied at 2-2 in the closing seconds, Byfuglien took a pass and got a step on Niklas Kronwall. As he attempted to get a shot away, the Detroit defenseman attempted to lift his stick but instead hooked the Blackhawks' winger in the process, causing the referees to award a penalty shot.
"I didn't think I touched him that much, but obviously the ref was right there and he made the call. That's the way it is," Kronwall said.
Byfuglien skated wide and buried a wrist shot past Ty Conklin to the blocker side, giving Chicago a 3-2 lead. Detroit pulled the netminder in the remaining seconds, and Andrew Ladd scored into the empty net with 11 ticks left to account for the 4-2 final score.
Ladd also registered an assist, while Niklas Hjalmarsson tallied his first NHL goal for the Blackhawks, who secured the fourth seed in the Western Conference and will have home-ice advantage in a first-round playoff matchup against Calgary. The Blackhawks will be appearing in the postseason for the first time since 2002.
"Obviously it's awesome to score a goal, my first NHL goal, pretty happy about that," Hjalmarsson said. "It really doesn't matter to me. The most important thing is we win. Just trying to prepare for the playoffs."
Ben Eager also tallied for Chicago, while Cristobal Huet stopped 21-of-23 shots in claiming the win. Martin Havlat and Brian Campbell each registered a pair of assists for the Blackhawks, who have won five of their last six games.
Valtteri Filppula and Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit, which was coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to Nashville on Thursday. The Red Wings, who have dropped five of seven overall, have the second seed in the West locked up. Conklin turned aside 22-of-25 shots.
In other news for Detroit, forward Johan Franzen agreed to an 11-year contract on Saturday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is the second-longest contract in team history. Henrik Zetterberg signed a 12-year pact in January.
Detroit was without leading scorer Marian Hossa, who is suffering from a groin injury.
These two teams will meet again on Sunday in Chicago to close out the regular season.
Chicago opened the scoring just 16 seconds into the contest. After the Blackhawks controlled the puck off the opening faceoff, Havlat fed Hjalmarsson, who fired a wrister from the top of the left circle that beat Conklin on the glove side.
Filppula's power-play tally tied things at 1-1 with 9:01 left in the first period. Then, with 1:02 remaining in the second, the Red Wings went ahead.
Daniel Cleary picked up a loose puck at the Chicago blue line, skated in and fired a shot from the left circle that was stopped by Huet. However, the rebound kicked out to the slot, and Zetterberg grabbed the puck and blasted a slapshot over the shoulder of the Blackhawks' netminder to make it a 2-1 game.
Eager pulled the Blackhawks even at 8:53 of the third. The rugged left winger took a pass from Ladd and ripped a wrister high into the net from the left circle to deadlock things at two goals apiece.
Red Wings veteran defenseman Chris Chelios played forward during the contest...The Blackhawks were without forward Patrick Sharp (lower-body injury) and Kris Versteeg (upper-body injury)...The Blackhawks finished the regular season 22-15-4 on the road...Detroit was 27-9-5 at home this year but dropped five of its last six at Joe Louis Arena...Despite the loss, the Red Wings won five of six against Chicago this season.
04/11 20:17:18 ET