With less than three minutes left in Sunday’s game, the Detroit Red Wings were poised to end the Chicago Blackhawks’ NHL-record season-opening point streak. A goal from Tomas Tatar (his fourth of the season) had the Wings up 1-0 and playing well across the board when a delay of game penalty to Jonathan Ericsson put them in a bind. The Blackhawks wasted little time tying the game up as Patrick Kane buried a shot past Jimmy Howard. Detroit managed to survive a second delay of game penalty (to Niklas Kronwall) in the final minutes and survived the overtime period, but ultimately came up short in the shootout.
The Blackhawks streak was kept alive by the game reaching the extra frame, but they were able to get a shootout goal from Kane to get the win and the extra point as well. It is a game that Detroit will continue to look back on as a missed opportunity as they don’t get another shot at the Blackhawks until the end of the month. Howard made 32 saves and continues to see more work in net than normal. He made 33 saves on a heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday and 34 saves in a shootout win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
The Red Wings have taken seven points from their last five games and remain in a playoff position, but need to eliminate costly penalties by top players if they hope to stay competitive with teams like the Blackhawks the rest of the season. They also need to improve a power play that has yet to convert on the road and is 0-for-7 in their last three games.