CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 Wednesday night in the opening game of their Western Conference Semifinal series.
Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard's 38 saves would not be enough for his team.
The game started with a strong push from the Blackhawks offense who opened the scoring on the power play with a goal from former Red Wing Marian Hossa.
But the lead was short-lived. Damien Brunner tied it up at 1-1 just a minute later when he slammed home a rebound past Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.
The teams entered the 1st intermission with a goal each. There weren't many shots -- 7-6 in favor of Detroit -- in the 1st 20 minutes. Detroit failed to convert on two power plays in the opening period.
View: Game 1 boxscore
Both teams failed to score on power plays early in the 2nd period. The period continued with end-to-end play and quality scoring chances on both ends of the ice but no one could find the back of the net. Howard turned away 17 shots from the Blackhawks and the Red Wings only had 5 shots on Crawford in the 2nd.
Chicago's David Bolland broke loose on a breakaway about 5 minutes into the 3rd period but Howard sprawled to take away the bottom of the net, rejecting Bolland.
Howard continued to turn away big chances from the Blackhawks but it was too much. Johnny Oduya scored with about 12 minutes remaining in regulation to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.
Just about 3 minutes later, Marcus Kruger gave the Blackhawks a two-goal lead. Chicago was being rewarded for sustaining intense pressure on Howard and the Red Wings defense.
The Red Wings pulled Howard for an extra attacker with less than 2 minutes remaining but Chicago was able to get one into the empty net to make it 4-1.