Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller scored 31 seconds apart midway through the second period, before Pavel Datsyuk restored a two-goal lead in the third to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on Monday to take a 2-1 lead in their second-round NHL playoff series.
Patrick Kane scored 4 minutes, 35 seconds into the third period to pull Chicago within one. The Blackhawks celebrated as if they tied the game about a minute later, but Andrew Shaw’s goal was waved off because he was in the crease.
The seventh-seeded Red Wings have a shot to put the top-seeded Blackhawks on the brink of elimination tomorrow in Game 4.
Chicago have lost consecutive games for the first time in nearly two months.
Chicago began the lockout-shortened season by setting an NHL record with at least a point in their first 24 games, ended it with a league-high 77 points and avoided having a three-game losing streak during the 48-game campaign.
After a scoreless first period in a hot and steamy Joe Louis Arena, Detroit took a 2-0 lead.
Nyquist patiently carried the puck from right to left, then waited for defenseman Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford to sprawl out to make a shot before shooting the puck.
Miller crashed in to stuff the puck into the net after Patrick Eaves got to his own rebound to keep pressure on Crawford. Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival started the sequence with a turnover in the Chicago end.
It was a sixth straight goal for the Red Wings, who lost the opener 4-1 and gave up the first goal of Game 2, before going on to even the series with a 4-1 victory.
Chicago escaped getting shut out when Duncan Keith lifted the puck up the ice, over and past Detroit’s defense, and Kane got to it in time to beat Howard with a low shot.
Datsyuk gave the Red Wings a comfortable cushion again, getting off a wrist-shot from the left side that went in and out of the net before Crawford saw it.