Greetings once against from the command center at Castle Empty Netters. This will a semi-live blog of tonight's showdown in Detroit. If the Red Wings win, it's a rematch of last season's Stanley Cup final. If the Blackhawks win, the Penguins will wait a few more days at least to find their next opponent.
-Chris Osgood and Cristobal Huet are your starting goaltenders tonight.
-Chicago's scratches are Jordan Hendry, Jack Skille, Aaron Johnson, Martin Havlat, Pascal Pelletier, Bryan Bickell, Evan Brophey, Jacob Dowell, Antti Niemi and Nikolai Khabibulin.
-Detroit has scrached Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Darren McCarty, Kris Draper, Aaron Downey, Jakub Kindl, Tomas Kopecky, Jim Howard and surprisingly, Jonathan Ericsson.
-Ericsson underwent surgery for acute appendicitis today. Ericsson has been a go-to guy for them with injures to Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski and Andreas Lilja in thiese playoffs. He's a significant loss. He appeared in all 15 of their playoff games until this point, contributed five points (two goals, three assists) and has played close to 20 minutes per game while being teamed with Lidstrom.
-Assuming they move on, Detroit better pray the Stanley Cup final starts next week one way or another. They are really hurting.
19:34: Bad development for Chicago early on. Brent Seabrook blocked a shot and hobbled off to the bench.
18:00: Versus just showed a clip of Huet take a shot to the face in warm ups. That's how physical this series has been. Even teammates are trying to take each other out.
15:48: Huet's on his game. He just stopped three nice scoring chances in tight.
15:30ish: Two of the more interesting names on Detroit's roster, Justin Abdelkader and Ville Leino, just royally screwed up a two-on-one.
13:10: Marian Hossa is flying around the Chicago zone with the puck like someone pretty determined to get back to the Cup final. He wants to face his former team.
12:04: Patrick Kane coasts up the right wing and dishes a nice feed to Colin Fraser coming in from the left wing, Osgood stretches out and completely robs him. Fraser gets the rebound and clanks it off the post.That was a clutch save by Osgood.
11:25: Chicago returns to the penalty box. Can't take penalties against Detroit. Patrick Sharp holds up Darren Helm and is given two minutes.
9:24: As Sharp's penalty is killed, Dan Cleary puts a shot wide. Not much going on there for Detroit.
8:08: Niklas Kronwall throws Kris Versteeg from behind into the boards. It was a legal hit. It just kind of looked bad.
5:31: Brad Stuart steps up and blasts a one-timer in the slot. Huet fights it off.
3:26: Another bad penalty for the Blackhawks as they're nailed for too many men on the ice. Can't do stupid things like this against Detroit.
2:14: Chicago has another defenseman get dropped by a shot. A big blast by Hossa catches Niklas Hjalmarsson in the arm pit almost and drops him as well as knocks some more vowels out of his last name. That just looked like it knocked the life out of him.
1:25: Chicago's penalty is killed.
1:04: Huet makes a nice flamboyant save off a redirected shots by Stuart from the right point.
0:25: Leino cranks a slapper that a Chicago defenseman gets a piece of. The puck deflects in on net where Huet gloves it. The Blackhawks needs to cut down on some of these chances Detroit is getting.
0:00: End of period. Blackhawks 0, Red Wings 0.
-Big time rebound by Huet tonight. He was completely dreadful in Game 4 and he's the reason this game is still tied.
-Chicago needs to get some more chances on Osgood. We know that's easier said than done, but the Red Wings are without three of their most valuable defensive players in Datsyuk, Draper and Lidstrom. Chicago simply has to capitalize on it.
-The Red Wings simply have to keep playing their game and eventually they'll crack Huet.
-Detroit has a 21-9 lead in shots. Yeesh.
-Hossa leads the game with four.
-Fraser and Dave Bolland lead the Blackhawks with two each.
-Chicago has a 9-8 lead in shots (53 percent).
-Bolland is 3-for-5 (60 percent).
-Darren Helm and Valtteri Filppula are each 2-for-3 (67 percent).
-Brian Rafalski leads the game with 8:57.
-Seabrook came back from his early ailment and leads Chicago with 8:30.
-Brian Campbell leads the game with two blocked shots.
19:18: Andrew Ladd dumps Henrik Zetterberg in the corner with a shoulder check.
17:20: Osgood denies Ben Eager and Fraser on two chances in tight.
16:29: Osgood comes up big again at Ladd is denied on a wraparound backhander.
15:23: Huet comes up with his own nice sequence of saves as he says no to Cleary and Filppula.
14:51: Cleary blasts a slapper from the left wing. Huet traps it against his chest.
13:49: Jiri Hudler has a prime chance in the slot but fans a bit on his shot.
12:17: Derek Meech cranks a slapper from the left point. Huet spots it though traffic and kicks it out.
12:00: Things gets nasty as Fraser and Tomas Holmstrom stage a Roman-Greco wrestling match behind the net. Four-on-four. Ben Eager figured he'd gone on long enough without a penalty of some sort and takes a misconduct penalty. How is this hack in the NHL? Four-on-four.
11:29: Hossa takes a really odd penalty. He tries to lift Dave Bolland's stick and his sticks snaps. Officials call slashing on Hossa. Huh? That's a bogus call. Four-on-three power play for 1:27 for Chicago. The Blackhawks need to take advantage of this.
11:06: Cam Barker hammers a slapper from the left point. It hits Stuart in the back of his right leg and drops him. Yeouch.
10:36: Barker blasts another slapper from the left faceoff circle. Osgood eats it despite a screen.
10:13: Keith cracks a one-timer from the right wing that clanks off the post.
10:00: Stuart whips the puck down ice and essentially kills off the matching minors to Fraser and Holmstrom. Chicago still has a one-man advantage for 37 seconds.
9:41: Sharp gets a feed rushing into the slot and is stoned by Osgood.
9:29: Hossa's penalty is killed. The Blackhawks generated some chances but the only time they figured out Osgood, they hit the post.
8:36: Troy Brouwer charges to the net with the puck but can't get a clean shot off as Brett Lebda has him hooked up. Brouwer makes contact with Osgood who tumbles to the ice as if he were hit by a bus. Some things never get old. Chicago gets a power play.
6:40: Darren Helm has the shift of his life as he just controls the puck for roughly 25 seconds in Chicago's zone and even generates a scoring chance. Tha essentially killed off the rest of Lebda's penalty. Chicago looked really bad there. Brian Campbell, Chicago's $56 million man looked like an expensive pylon.
5:31: Keith is nabbed for slashing.
4:56: Holmstrom loses his cool and kicks out Matt Walker's left leg. That's two minutes. Four-on-four for 1:27. Pretty stupid penalty by Holmstrom.
4:10: Dustin Byfuglien, who has been quiet this game, sneaks into the Detroit zone and cracks a slapper from the right wing that buzzes Osgood's tower and just misses the net.
3:48: Hossa swoops behind the Detroit net, spins and whips a wrister at net. Huet gets a piece of it. The puck sneaks through and hits off Hjalmarsson's leg. Pretty close to being a goal there.
3:31: Keith's penalty is killed. Chicago has a power play for 33.
2:56: Holmstrom's penalty is killed.
1:16: Brouwer snaps off a wrister from the slot. Osgood fights it off with his blocker.
0:00: End of period. Blackhawks 0, Red Wings 0.
-Chicago played a lot better that period, but has nothing to show for it.
-Huet and Osgood are both playing lights out. We have a hard time seeing a junk goal being scored in the third period.
-Are we the only ones wondering where Henrik Zetterberg is?
-How about Jonathan Toews?
-Detroit has a 31-20 lead in shots.
-Hossa leads the game with five.
-Brouwer leads Chicago with four.
-Detroit has a 20-12 lead in faceoffs (63 percent).
-Filppula is 5-for-6 (83 percent).
-Fraser is 4-for-5 (80 percent).
-Rafalski leads the game with 18:40.
-Keith leads Chicago with 15:27.
-Walker, Stuart and Rafalski each lead the game with three blocked shots.
19:02: Troy Brouwer has been Chicago's best offensive weapon this game. After Chris Chelios mishandles a puck behind his own net, Brouwer jumps in and snaps off a wrister which Osgood makes a clutch save on.
18:05: Fraser has a shorthanded chance denied.
16:33: Kris Versteeg sneaks in from the left wing and puts a wrister on net. Osgood boots it out.
15:06: Abdelkader cranks a one-timer on net. Huet knocks it down and covers.
13:57: Hossa launches a wrister from the slot. Huet stretches out and kicks it awawy whthis right leg.
13:52: Detroit finally solves Huet. Lebda cranks a slapper from the right point. Cleary is right in front re-directs it just enough to beat Huet. Really nice play by Cleary. Chicago failed on two occasions to get the puck out of the zone. Lebda gets the only assist. Red Wings 1-0.
12:11: Hossa gets set loose in the slot and has a clean chance on net. Fraser makes a wonderful backcheck and knocks the puck away from him.
10:15: After a bad turnover by Stuart in the Detroit zone, Hjalmarsson steals the puck. He dishes it to Ladd in the slot. Osgood's in perfect position to deny Ladd's chance. Osgood has really been clutch this game.
9:47: Hjalmarsson cranks a slapper from the left point. Osgood fights it off with his "waffle board" as Mike Emrick calls it.
9:33: Zetterberg's stick breaks in a faceoff. As he skates over to the bench to get a new one, he skates into Keith and kicks away the puck with a solid play.
8:24: Ben Eager flips the puck down ice and takes an icing. Why is this guy on the ice late with the Blackhawks down a goal?
8:00: Toews decides to make an appearance and backhands a puck fromthe right wing into the crease. Osgood steers it away.
7:07: Ooooooh what a move and what a shot!!!! That's why he was the first overall pick in the 2007 draft. Kane makes a dazzling move by Jiri Hudler at the red line, races up the right wing on the outside of Lebda and lifts a backhander by Osgood's glove hand. What a simply amazing display by Kane. Heck of a time for him to finally come through. Seabrook gets the only assist. Blackhawks 1, Red Wings 1.
5:30: Kronwall cranks a slapper fromt he right point. Holmstrom deflects it wide.
4:54: Hudler coasts behind the net, come around the other side and dishes a puck into the slot. Franzen charges in and can't sneak the shot by Huet.
4:19: Cleary tosses a soft wrister at the cage from the left wing. Huet kicks it out easily.
1:50: Seabrook gets a feed deep in the slot and rockets a wrister over the cage.
1:18: Kane's seeing the ice like Sidney Crosby. He controls the puck on the right wing and zips a cross ice pass to Bolland in the right faceoff circle. Bolland hammers a one-timer that hits the side of hte net.
0:54: Adam Burish charges to the net and is denied twice in tight by Osgood. Heck of a save.
0:22: OOOAAAAHHHHH!!! Hossa gets behind Keith on the right wing and directs a puck on net. Huet kicks it out. Franzen is there for the rebound and has Huet dead to rights. He spins and lifts a backhander. Huet just gets his right leg up and gets a piece of it. What a crazy amazing save.
0:00: End of period. Whew. Blackhawks 1, Red Wings 1.
-We're big advocates of sloppy, high-scoring hockey, but tonight just proves a tight, disciplined defensive game can be just as entertaining. That third period was about as entertaining as any 20 minutes we've seen this postseason.
-How clutch was Kane's goal? He stepped up and came through for his team like a true franchise player.
-The goaltending has been spectacular for each team tonight.
-If you know of someone not watching this game, get a hold of them, wake them up, change their television, strangle them, punch them, etc. and make sure they're watching Versus.
-You have to wonder how Detroit's injuries, particularly on defense, will impact them in the overtime. Lidstrom and Ericsson play a lot of minutes and the Red Wings can't rely on 47-year-old Chris Chelios or little-used Derek Meech to absorb too many of those.
-Detroit has a 42-31 lead in shots.
-Two former Penguins, Marian Hossa (seven) and Mikael Samuelsson (six), lead Detroit in shots. FIre Ray Shero and Craig Patrick.
-Brouwer leads Chicago with five.
-Detroit has a 27-22 lead in faceoffs (55 percent).
-Zetterberg is 11-for-17 (65 percent).
-Fraser, who has been oustanding, is 6-for-9 (65 percent).
-Rafalski leads the game with 27:33.
-Seabrook has 26:43.
-Rafalski also leads the game with four blocked shots.
-Walker leads Chicago with three.
-We're not the first to bring this up, but Jonathan Toews' mutton chops are brutal:
18:17: Cleary coasts up the right wing and puts a half slapper on net. Osgood boots it out.
18:07: Hossa snaps off a wrist erfrom the right wing that gets through Huet but goes through the crease.
16:33: Oh geez. Chris flipping Chelios almost scored his first goal since the days of the NHA. We think. Franzen tosses a wrister at the cage from the right wing. Huet makes the save but gives up a rebound. Chelios comes crashing in but can't put the puck by Huet who covers it up.
15:02: Game. Helm gives us a rematch. Lebda cranks a slapper from the left point. It hits off the end boards and bounces into Huet's equipment. Holmstrom basically whacks Huet and knocks the puck loose into the crease. Helm jumps on it and pokes it in for the winning goal. He's mobbed by his teammates. Holmstrom and Lebda get the assists. End of game. Red Wings 2, Blackhawks 1.
-What a game. Chicago threw just about everything it could into this contest and made the Red Wings sweat this one out.
-Detroit better hope the Cup final start next week. They are definitely a lesser team without Datsyuk and Lidstrom.
-Detroit does not come into the Cup final at their best. Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Lilja, Draper, Ericsson are all key players and they're all dealing with some sort of ailments. Chicago took the wood to them at times.
-Osgood was clutch. No doubt about it. He face several quality chances and fought most of them off. He was only beaten by a a brilliant shot off a brilliant effort by Kane.
-With Lidstrom out, Zetterberg filled in and "accepted" the Clarence Campbell Bowl. Unlike Crosby last night, he wanted nothing to do with and avoided all contact with it.
-Detroit dominated the overtime period and just stormed the Chicago goal.
-The Red Wings had a 46-31 lead in shots. They held Chicago without a shot in overtime.
-Hossa led the game with seven. Samuelsson and Cleary each had six.
-Troy Brouwer led Chicago with five.
-Detroit had a 29-24 lead in faceoffs (55 percent).
-Zetterberg was 12-for-18 (67 percent).
-Fraser was 6-for-9 (67 percent).
-Rafalski led the game with 29:31 of ice time.
-Seabrook led Chicago with 28:18.
-Stuart and Rafalski each had four blocked shots.
-Walker led Chicago with three.