Blackhawks 4 -- Red Wings 3 (OT): 3 Stars, Key Takeaways

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Blackhawks 4 — Red Wings 3 (OT): 3 Stars, Key Takeaways

Chicago Blackhawks

So anyways the Blackhawks had their home opener on Friday night, hosting the Detroit Red Wings and what sounded like about 8,000 of their fans at the United Center. Based on how loud the “Let’s go, Red Wings!” chants and cheering after goals was, I would conservatively say this was the most pro-Detroit crowd in Chicago in at least 14 years.

And they — Red Wings fans — had plenty to celebrate. The Wings scored twice in the first period and, after the Blackhawks got back within one, extended the lead quickly back to two.

The only thing that went wrong for the Red Wings in the first two periods was their captain, Dylan Larkin, leaving the game in what appeared to be a fair amount of pain late in the first period.

But then the third period started. The Blackhawks made a goalie change and a serious attitude adjustment. They came out flying and playing with purpose and all of a sudden the ice was flipped. Two effort goals — one short-handed — brought the Blackhawks back to a tie score in the middle of the third period.

We got free hockey! Overtime between the Blackhawks and Red Wings means we want Brent Seabrook to come out and send Detroit to the golf course for the… nevermind.

We got Max Domi picking a puck off in the neutral zone and ending the thing on his own. The Blackhawks erased a two-goal deficit in the third period and sent Detroit packing. A really good win for the Blackhawks… if that’s what we’re trying to do.

Star 1: the Penalty Box Attendants

How do we put this politely? This was an old school Chicago-Detroit game with new guys throwing hands, whacking shins and exchanging dinner plans throughout. And, unfortunately, the Blackhawks ramping up the physicality didn’t start until they were already chasing two goals.

In the first period, Jarred Tinordi and Caleb Jones had two penalty minutes and Domi had four. In the second, Sam Lafferty added two. Jake McCabe took a minor in his season debut (he was pushing his luck all night) and Alex Stalock was guilty of delaying the game in the third as well. Five short-handed periods for the Blackhawks that produced only one goal for the Red Wings.

And that’s just the Blackhawks’ side of the sheet. Detroit had six penalties (five minors and one penalty shot) of their own in the first 40 minutes.

Star 2: Revenge

Dominik Kubalik was back at the United Center and he had two points (one goal, one assist). Pius Suter was back at the United Center and he scored Detroit’s first goal. Olli Määttä picked up an assist on Kubalik’s goal in the second period. Meaning

And Andreas Athanasiou spent five years with the Red Wings and had his best season there, scoring 30 goals in 2018-19… he scored Chicago’s first goal of the night. Short of the Blackhawks’ former Red Wings netminder getting hurt, it was revenge szn at the United Center on Friday night.

Star 3: Max Domi

The Blackhawks won 62 percent of the faceoffs during regulation, led by Domi winning 13 of 17. And then Domi scored the OT GWG to finish the deal. He was terrific all night. Physical and fast.

Takeaways

  • One thing that interested me was looking down at Detroit’s bench during the national anthem to find it… empty. The Red Wings didn’t sit there through the Blackhawks’ introduction ceremony (which is understandable), but didn’t come out until after Jim Cornelison finished singing the anthem. Maybe rookie Detroit head coach Derek Lalonde didn’t feel like his young team needed to be close enough to hear what was a pretty decent roar during the performance?
  • Petr Mrazek did not return to the game for the start of the third period. The Blackhawks announced it was health related. Well, they said MEDICAL UPDATE: and then Mrazek won’t return. So we’ll have to wait and see what’s up or if Arvid Söderblom gets a call before Sunday’s matinee against Seattle. Mrazek stopped 15 of 18 in the first two periods.
  • It was good to see Athanasiou get on the board, albeit via a penalty shot. He’s still struggling to find a groove in any kind of regular offense, but goals are goals and if this helps his trade value I’m giving it four thumbs up.
  • Jarred Tinordi was throwing his body around all night. He hammered Elmer Söderblom in the neutral zone at one point. The Red Wings clearly wanted to come out and play a physical game, which the Blackhawks didn’t match. Tinordi was one of the few guys who could play in the weight class of some of Detroit’s big boys (Söderblom, the brother of Blackhawks’ goalie Arvid, is listed at 6-8 and 248 pounds).
  • Connor Murphy‘s short-handed goal was the first scored by a Blackhawks defenseman since Blake Hillman on April 4, 2018. And it’s the third shorty of the year already for the Blackhawks; they scored two in 82 games last year.

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Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab