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Three Questions: Wings-Blackhawks analyzes Game 4 of the Western Conference Final

Sunday, 05.24.2009 / 6:27 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Blackhawks
What was the storyline heading into Game 4?

With a big win in Game 3, it seemed as though the series momentum was starting to shift back to the Blackhawks’ side.  It didn’t help the Wings’ cause that they were still without star forward Pavel Datsyuk for Game 4.  Then even worse news came out, as captain Nicklas Lidstrom was a surprise scratch for Sunday’s game.  After an overtime loss and losing arguably their two best players, it seemed that the Wings would have a tough time in Game 4 on the road.

Then the game actually started, and it was all Red Wings for 60 minutes.  The Wings took the first penalty of the game, with Henrik Zetterberg going for holding at the 7:41 mark.  But the Wings, not the Blackhawks, scored during the two minutes, as Marian Hossa beat goaltender Cristobal Huet shorthanded.  The Wings added a goal from Johan Franzen with 21 seconds left in the first, which seemed to be the backbreaking tally for the ‘Hawks.

Three second-period goals but the game out of reach for the Wings, and they coasted to a 6-1 victory.  The Wings rattled the Hawks, forcing them to take 16 penalties throughout the contest, including two 10-minute misconducts, and a game misconduct for Ben Eager.  The Wings also chased goaltender Huet from the net during the second period, as the Hawks put in untested goaltender Corey Crawford in replacement.

The win sends the Wings home for Wednesday’s Game 5 with a chance to wrap up the series at Joe Louis Arena.  They are one win away from a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Who were the Wings’ stars for Game 4?

As mentioned before, Marian Hossa scored the game’s first goal, a huge shorthanded goal that silenced the United Center crowd.  Linemate Valtteri Filppula rushed the puck up ice, and fired an impressive saucer pass over Cam Barker’s stick to Hossa, who managed to sneak the puck past Huet.

The duo of Hossa and Filppula stole the show for the Wings, taking care of the offense in Datsyuk’s absense.   Filppula scored the Wings’ third goal, a power-play marker only 1:13 into the second period, to continue the silence from the crowd.  He passed over to Hossa, then cut to the net to fire in a rebound off of Huet’s leg pad.  The two linemates teamed up again for Hossa’s second goal, as Filppula hit him with a pass at the Chicago blue line.  Hossa rushed into the zone, shrugged off a defenseman, drove to the goal, and scored on a quick shot far side.   

The two linemates ended up with six points combined on the evening.  Hossa played for 17:07, recording six shots, three hits, and a plus-two rating.  Filppula skated for 17:31, and he recorded three shits, one hit, one takeaway, and a plus-two rating as well. 

What was the goaltending situation?

I’m not sure of the last time it happened, but it was still strange – all four goaltenders played in today’s game.  As mentioned previously, the Wings chased Huet from the goal in the second period.  With original starting goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin scratched due to injury, the Hawks had to call on Crawford for replacing Huet.  It was a surprising move, as Crawford had only played in seven NHL games over two seasons, with only one win, and no playoff experience.  He played 15:55 of the second period, allowing one goal on seven shots.  But for the third period, Huet was back in, and he stopped eight of nine shots, for a total of five goals on 26 shots.

The Wings goaltending situation was a different story.  Chris Osgood started, and he stood on his head as the Wings built up the big lead.  ‘Ozzie’ stopped 18 of 19 shots through the first two periods, and made big saves when he was needed.  However, Ty Conklin came out for the third period.  It originally looked like coach Mike Babcock was just trying to rest Osgood, but he said in his post-game press conference that Osgood was dehydrated.  Either way, it was a nice break for Osgood, and a good way for Conklin to see some game action, with the game already tilted towards the Wings side.  Conklin stopped all nine shots he faced in the third, as the Detroit goaltenders combined to stop 27 of 28 shots on the afternoon.




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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