Three Questions: Wings-Blackhawks
DRW.com analyzes the Wings' 81st game
With under a minute to go in a tie game, Chicago forward Dustin Byfuglien broke in behind the Detroit defense and rushed toward goaltender Ty Conklin. However, Wings’ defenseman Niklas Kronwall caught him, and interrupted his shot attempt. The referees called a penalty shot for Byfuglien, who made no mistake on his opportunity. The Chicago forward beat Conklin to the left top-corner of the goal, giving the Blackhawks the game-winner late in the third.
But after watching the replay, it seemed to be a questionable call. It appeared that Kronwall made contact with only Byfuglien’s stick, and merely kept him from getting a shot on goal. It was a questionable decision to call a penalty, let alone a penalty shot, during such an important time of the game.
What did the Wings do right?
The Wings held a potent offense at bay for the majority of Saturday’s contest. Credit should go to the Wings’ penalty killers, who played a great game against Chicago’s talented power play. The Wings held the Blackhawks scoreless on four power plays, which helped them stay in the game until the end. At the same time, the Wings made use of their opportunities, going 1-2 on their man-advantage chances. Valtteri Filppula scored the lone power-play goal for the Wings.
Conklin should be commended for his game, as well. After allowing a goal on the first shot, he could have been in for a rough outing, but he collected himself and turned aside 22 shots throughout the contest.
What was the play of the game for the Wings?
The pass that Jiri Hudler made to Filppula for the Wings’ second goal was incredible. Hudler gathered in the puck next to the Chicago goal, and with pressure on him, made a behind-the-back backhand pass. He got the puck through a crowd in front of the Chicago goal, and put it right onto Filppula’s stick. Filppula fired it past goalie Cristobal Huet for his 12th goal of the season.