CHICAGO – Nearly every Game 1 statistic pointed to the Blackhawks’ dominance.
Chicago’s 42 shots were twice the number that the Red Wings directed at the Blackhawks’ goalie, and they had nearly three-times the number of takeaways in their 4-1 win at the United Center. However, Detroit coach Mike Babcock is concerned about a repeat performance in today’s Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals.
“You remember when we turned the puck over and (Marian Hossa) had the chance right in his spot and buried it? Remember that?” Babcock asked, rhetorically. “Remember the play when they turned it over and (Henrik Zetterbreg) had the puck right in the slot and hit their guy, the goalie's shaft right here and then they knocked it out? You guys remember that? You remember the breakaway (Pavel Datsyuk) had on the power play? We went 0-fer. So I guess what I'm trying to tell you is settle down, we'll be OK.”
The Red Wings have been through this before, losing the series-opener at Anaheim before rebounding to steal home-ice advantage with a 5-4 overtime win in Game 2, and eventually advancing to the next round.
The Blackhawks definitely expect a better game out of the Red Wings, who may or may not have been feeling the effects of the seven-game series with the Ducks.
“We expect them to be better and we know that we have to be better as well,” Chicago coach Joel Queeneville said. “It’s progression in the series, the games become more intense in importance and make sure that we’re respectful of what they are going to do and I expect a hard game.”
MILLER TIME? Babcock said that forward Drew Miller would be a game-time decision for the puck drops on Game 2 this afternoon. Well, the coach remained true to his word, waiting until warmups to announce the lineup change. Miller will play on the fourth line with center Cory Emmerton and forward Patrick Eaves. Todd Bertuzzi is a healthy scratch.
Miller has been out of the lineup since suffering a broken bone in his right hand on April 20 at Vancouver. If he’s inserted into the Game 2 lineup he’ll give the Red Wings someone who can play in every situation, especially on the penalty kill, where he was the team’s most efficient forward all season.
"He looks good now on the ice so we're happy to see that,” Zetterberg said. “He's definitely a big part of our PK. If he can go, it's a plus for us."
Zetterberg has 12 points in the last 13 games, including five in the first eight postseason contests. Though he was held off the score sheet in Game 1 he had a team-high four shots, he said getting back to basics will be for the Red Wings in Game 2.
“We know we can play a lot better and we did a lot of things that we haven't done in a while and we just need to get back playing the way we want to do,” Zetterberg said. “If we do that, we have a very big chance of winning than we did in Game 1.”
Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose
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