CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings renewed the oldest and longest running rivalry in NHL history on Tuesday evening at the United Center, and as usual the two teams did not disappoint.
A series that began on November 24, 1926, the Blackhawks and Red Wings who have squared off 812 times total, met each other for the first time since March of 2015. With the Blackhawks winners of three straight games this season, and two consecutive games against the Red Wings, the two original six clubs provided the twenty-one thousand plus fans at the United Center a reminder of why it is still a must watch every time they meet up.
It was all Blackhawks in the first period in Chicago, as Brian Campbell and Richard Panik scored a pair of goals 26 seconds apart midway through the first period, with Campbell’s fourth goal of the season coming at the 10:04 mark in the opening period. Campbell’s slap-shot past Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek came with the help of assists from Marian Hossa (9) and Jonathan Toews (14).
The second of the two early Blackhawks goal came in the form of a back-handed goal from Hawks’ forward Richard Panik, his fourth of the season, assisted by Ryan Hartman (8) and Duncan Keith (29). It looked like more of the same for Mrazek and the Red Wings, as Mrazek entered the night a loser in his previous four decisions, allowing 12 goals over the span of the win-less streak.
The second period however looked like a totally different game as the Red Wings charged back into the contest beginning with a Andreas Anthanasiou wrist-shot past Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, his eighth of the season, cutting the Blackhawks lead to 2-1 just 1:37 into the second. At the 09:09 mark in the second period, the Red Wings tied the game after Tomas Tatar fired a snap-shot past Crawford for his ninth goal of the season, knotting the two rivals up at two-a-piece.
With 1:42 left in the second period Tanner Kero scored his first goal of the season, a wrist-shot past Mrazek, helped by Ryan Hartman (9) and Richard Panik (8). It would only take the Red Wings to re-ignite the “Detroit Sucks!” chants from the United Center crowd after Luke Glendening slipped a wrist-shot past Crawford on the side of the net, to tie the game once again, this time at three goals heading into the third period.
The Blackhawks and the Red Wings would trade shots and shoves throughout the third period, with neither team being able to pull ahead. Through the three regulation periods Corey Crawford stopped 33 of 36 shots on goal, while Petr Mrazek was able to stand tall against the Blackhawks, stopping 39 of 42 shots in regulation.
Mrazek would not see save number 40 on the evening, as Duncan Keith would fire a slap shot past the Red Wings goaltender just 38 seconds into the overtime period to give the Blackhawks their fourth consecutive victory on the campaign, and their third consecutive over the rival Red Wings. The goal was the second of the season for Keith, with assists from Artemi Panarin (25) and Patrick Kane (33).
The Blackhawks ran their record on the season to 27-12-5 with a Western Conference leading 59 points. The NHL hindered one of the best rivalries in all of sports when they moved the Detroit Red Wings into the Eastern Conference, limiting the two clubs to just two meetings per year, but they certainly did not kill the rivalry. The reduced meetings between the Blackhawks and Red Wings hasn’t affected the on-ice luster of the rivalry thus far, evident tonight as the two teams traded goals and traded blows for 60 minutes and 38 seconds in front of a ruckus United Center Crowd, full of plenty of “Detroit Sucks!” chants to go around.
The Blackhawks (27-12-5) will have the next three days off before taking on the Washington Capitals (26-9-5) on Friday night in Washington. Catch the Blackhawks attempt at their fifth consecutive victory at 6:00 PM (CT) on CSN-Chicago (TV) and WGN720-AM (Radio).