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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 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
4 TBL 50 28 18 4 131 115 60
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 49 25 17 7 126 122 57
10 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
11 CAR 52 23 21 8 124 138 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 53 20 28 5 133 167 45

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 50 17 18 23 35
H. Zetterberg 51 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 50 14 16 -3 30
G. Nyquist 51 14 13 -4 27
J. Abdelkader 51 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 36 6 18 10 24
M. Green 45 3 17 -8 20
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
D. DeKeyser 47 6 8 10 14
R. Sheahan 50 7 6 -15 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 18 10 4 .931 2.06
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89