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Eaves' hustle gives spark to Wings

Foot race leads to Wings' goal in shootout loss to Blackhawks

Sunday, 03.3.2013 / 5:10 PM ET / Recap
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Eaves\' hustle gives spark to Wings

Patrick Eaves picked up an assists in Sunday's shootout loss, his four of the season, which leads all bottom six forwards. (Photo by Dave Reginek)

DETROIT – Hard work, discipline, and attention to detail has been the mantra for the new-look Red Wings this season. And it was epitomized by Patrick Eaves Sunday afternoon when he helped set-up Tomas Tatar’s third-period goal that gave Detroit a 1-0 lead over the Chicago Blackhawks at Joe Louis Arena.

Eaves, who missed an entire calendar year with post-concussion symptoms, raced down the right wing with inside position on Nick Leddy before beating the Blackhawks’ defenseman to the puck below the goal line.

From there, rookie center Joakim Andersson got the puck behind the net and pushed it out front to Tatar who finished the play by beating Chicago goalie Corey Crawford to the short side.

“I hopped off the bench there and Kronner saw me. It was kind of a foot race,” said Eaves who’s picked up a goal and an assist in the last two games. “I got on the inside track and kind of squeezed him off and lifted his stick up and Andy got in there and threw it right out there to Tatar and he banged it in. That was a full line play for us.”

Without Eaves’ hustle on the play, the Red Wings likely don’t score.

“He makes good decisions out there, you always know what you're going to get,” said captain Henrik Zetterberg, of Eaves. “It’s fun when you can contribute offense, too. He made some good plays and the play today was real nice.”

Despite the pretty play by the Andersson line, the Red Wings had to settle for one-point in the standings, losing to the Blackhawks, 2-1, in a shootout. It was the ninth straight game – dating back to the 2010-11 season – that these two Original Six rivals have battled to a one-goal finish.

The Joe was electric Sunday, akin an atmosphere usually reserved for playoff hockey in the Motor City. However, there were special circumstances surrounding this Sunday matinee. The Blackhawks came to town riding a historic start, and the Wings desperately wanted to be the club that knocked them from their ride.

“Obviously, we needed these two points,” Eaves said. “Then with their streak going we would have liked to have knocked it off. But more importantly, we needed the two points.

“They knew what was on the line, and so did we. Towards the end the intensity really picked up.”

But in the end, the Blackhawks escape with their record intact and growing to 22 consecutive games without a loss in regulation. They have earned a point in the last 28 regular-season games, dating back to last season, tying the 1977-78 Blackhawks for the second best streak in NHL history.

The Blackhawks eventually won when Patrick Kane, whose power-play goal late in the third forced overtime, scored the lone shootout goal when he snapped a shot that beat Jimmy Howard stick-side.

“In a competitive league, they're not making it competitive,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “In saying that, they're 12-0-3 in one-goal games. So they find a way to win. That's depth and that's skill.”

THREE STARS: 3, Patrick Kane, CHI (1 goal); 2, Jimmy Howard, DET (32 saves, L); 1, Corey Crawford, CHI (32 saves, W).

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80