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UNDER-MANNED WINGS ROUT B-HAWKS.....RED WINGS 6, Chicago 1, S 5/24/09
Posted on: 05-24-2009

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>>caption:  HOSSA (L) STARTS THE
ROMP WITH A 1ST-PER SHG ON HUET<<

@ CHICAGO, IL:

    Even with Capt. Nicklas Lidstrom,
Pavel Datsyuk and Kris Draper all out
injured, the Red Wings had little trouble disposing of the Blackhawks 6-1
Sunday in Chicago.
    Marian Hossa and Henrik Zetterberg both scored twice and Detroit took
a 3-1 stranglehold in the NHL Western Conference Finals.
    The Blackhawks were without starting goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin (who
was injured in Chicago's Gm-3 win Friday night) and lost top playoff points
scorer Martin Havlat for the second consecutive contest with an in-game
injury.
    The road to the Stanley Cup is a journey of attrition and the deeper
defending champion Red Wing roster out-classed the young B-Hawks Sunday.
Detroit put on a precision passing performance that frustrated the upstarts.
    Hossa now has six post-season goals in a Detroit sweater, scoring a pair
in all three Gm-4's this spring vs Columbus, Anaheim and Chicago.
    It was Hossa who got the Wings rolling with a shorthanded marker at 8:41/1.
After an offensive zone turnover by Chicago's Brian Campbell, Hossa (#5) came
up the slot to convert a cross-ice pass from Valtteri Filppula to beat replacement
B-Hawks netminder Cristobal Huet with a hard wrister.        
    Detroit put the second knife in the Blackhawk balloon with only 21-sec left in the
1st-Per. Johan Franzen (#10) charged out of the penalty box, stole the puck just
inside the Detroit blueline, went on a right wing rush and snapped a right circle
shot between back-checking Campbell's legs to fool Huet on the top shelf, far side
for an unassisted goal and a 2-0 lead.
    The continuing series of post-whistle scrums in this series was better controlled
by the officials in this game, and led to a Matt Walker roughing penalty at the 20:00
mark of the 1st-Per. When the call was announced as the teams returned to the ice
for the 2nd-Per, B'Hawks head coach Joel Quenneville displayed a temper tantrum
behind the bench. It didn't take Detroit long to make Chicago pay for the infraction.
Filppula potted his own right side rebound for a power play goal at 1:13/2 for a 3-0
bulge that further infuriated Quenneville.
    Blackhawk Capt. Jonathan Toews (#7) backhandered a PPG at 3:53/2 to give
Chicago hope at 3-1. It only took Detroit 12-sec to burst the B-Hawk comeback bubble
when Hossa (#6) again wristed a Filppula feed for a 4-1 margin to chase Huet at 4:05/2.
    Third stringer Corey Crawford came on to replace Huet for the balance of the
2nd-Per. The only goal rookie Campbell allowed was during a 5x3 Wings power play
where uncovered Zetterberg kicked the puck to his own stick and backhanded into
the net at 7:42/2 to make it 5-1.
    Huet was back between the pipes for the 3rd-Per and Zetterberg (#8) scored again
on the power play on a close-in rebound at 12:47/3 for the 6-1 final.
    Ty Conklin came in to play goal for Detroit in the 3rd-Per to give him some playing
time and because starter Chris Osgood was dehydrated.  
    Hossa (2-G & 1-A), Filppula (1-G & 2-A) and Brian Rafalski (3-A) all had 3-pt games
for Detroit while Zetterberg had 2-G and Niklas Kronwall 2-A.
    Detroit out-shot Chicago 33-28. Osgood made 18-SV and Conklin 9-SV for the Wings.
Huet made 21-SV and Campbell 6-SV for the Hawks.
    Four of the six Detroit goals were by special teams with Hossa's SHG plus a 3-for-8
power play performance. The Blackhawks were 1-for-4 with the extra man.
    Kris Versteeg received back-to-back minors for the B-Hawks in the 2nd-Per
when he came out of the penalty box, hit Detroit's Jiri Hudler from behind and went
right back into the sin bin 5-sec after he'd escaped. Versteeg was assessed one of
three Chicago misconducts (10-min) in the 3rd-Per. The others were both by Ben
Eager with a 10-min call in the 2nd-Per and a Game-Mis in the 3rd-Per. In all the
West Side Goons received nine roughing calls for post-whistle hits, including a double
minor to Adam Burish at the end of the game.  

QUOTEBOOK...

R-WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK:   "I really thought we were going to dig in
...Zetterberg had great leadership. I thought Hoss had a great game...We
had a lotta poise early and they really never got going...We were on the
power play lots, which is beneficial for us...I thought we had a good penalty
kill...I thought Osgood did a good job."

R-WINGS FWD HENRIK ZETTERBERG:   "We tried to keep our poise. We knew they were
coming. They didn't basically have anything else to do (except rough it up) once the
game kind of ran away...We just had to deal with (the unexpected loss of Lidstrom).
Everybody had to step up and play."

R-WINGS Rt-WING MARIAN HOSSA:   "We were missing key players on our team. We had
to step up...(Filppula is) a great skater and he gave me the puck in time. I just have to
drive to the net more often and try to be more dangerous and try to be more physical
...When you're getting chances that don't go in for you, it's human nature to start
pressing. I told myself I was going to play more relaxed, play with my instincts and keep
things simple. I tried to do that...Whenever you get that first one after a few games,
it kind of calms you down. Then you start feeling it and being more patient...It's just
funny, the fourth game in the series and two goals (for the third consecutive series).
I'll try to stop that in the next game."

R-WINGS CEN VALTTERI FILPPULA:   "We played well defensively and we were able
to get scoring chances...It was pretty good game today...(Hossa) made nice plays
on both those goals...He's a fast player and (you) have to get him the puck."

R-WINGS L-WING JOHAN FRANZEN:   "We played solid. We didn't give them anything.
We put the puck behind them and had all five guys back all the time (on defense)
and made it hard on them...I tried to shoot it (through Campbell). I tried to use
him as a screen (and) got the perfect shot off...The officials did a good job too,
sending them to the box."

R-WINGS DEF BRIAN RAFALSKI:   "It says a lot for our depth, guys like Kronner,
Stewie stepped up and played a lot of minutes. Staying out of the box helps. We
took advantage of our chances.''

R-WINGS DEF NIKLAS KRONWALL:   "I thought we did a great job of sticking with
our game plan. We just tried to approach the game as we always do. I think
(Lidstrom's absence) just made everyone come together even more. A lot of it has
to do with the willingness to compete for each other. Everyone did their part. We
were able to come out with the win."

R-WINGS DEF CHRIS CHELIOS:   "We were missing two of our leaders, but we believe
in our depth, our skill. It's just one game, but it's a big game to be up 3-1."

R-WINGS L-WING KIRK MALTBY:   "Our young guys are very experienced, gone through
a lot of things in a short time, so when we get into these situations after losing Game 3
in overtime, we come back and respond. Guys didn't look nervous at all. It's a tribute
to the guys just going out and playing and not getting rattled...We've still got one more
game to try and get that fourth (win)...It's gonna be a great atmosphere at The Joe...
We've got enough experience here, enough leadership here to know we've gotta come
out and respond to a team that's gonna be desperate...To expect anything less would
be kinda foolish."

B-HAWKS H-COACH JOEL QUENNEVILLE:   "I think we witnessed probably the worst
call in the history of sports there. You know, they scored, it's 3-0. They ruined a
good hockey game and absolutely destroyed what was going on on the ice. It was a
call that could...never seen anything like it."

B-HAWKS CEN/CAPT JONATHAN TOEWS:   "Never say die, I guess, and we just gotta
find a way to keep kickin'...It's only gotten tougher as we've gone on...It's our
biggest challenge yet as a team and we gotta look each other in the eye and ask
ourself if it's the best we can do...We just gotta find a way...It's a tough one to
swollow."

B-HAWKS Rt-WING PATRICK SHARP:   "We can't win three games at once. We gotta
worry about the next game Wednesday in Detroit...We took too many penalties...
They're gonna burn you sooner or later...Frustrations boilin' over...Both teams are
startin' to dislike each other quite a bit...It's tough to chase (another team's lead)
in this league, especially in the playoffs."

OVERTIME:

    Lidstrom missed a playoff game for the first time since 1991.
    Hossa's SHG was the first time in the series Detroit scored the game's first goal.   
    Wings coach Mike Babcock said he was informed Lidstrom would not be able to play
(lower body injury) during his cab ride to the UC. Babcock said Osgood will play and
he hoped to have both Lidstrom and Datsyuk (missing for two games with a bruised foot)
back in the lineup for Gm-5 Wednesday night at The Joe.
    Havlat, knocked dizzy by Kronwall's hard check in Gm-3, played 7:59 Sunday before
he departed the game after a hard hit from Detroit DEF Brad Stuart.
    Chicago native Chris Chelios saw his first action of the serries, but played only 4:37
on the Detroit blueline.
    Detroit allowed a PPG against for the 13th consecutive playoff game, extending
their new NHL record for PK futility.
    Campbell was a minus-3 for Chicago.
    Huet was making his first ever playoff start for Chicago and Campbell his first
ever NHL playoff appearance.
    Former Red Wing and Blackhawk L-Wing Bob Probert dropped the puck for the
ceremonial opening faceoff.  
   
                                                             ###

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