Like the last time the Blackhawks faced the Detroit Red Wings, they had the defending Stanley Cup champions right where they wanted them.
Also like the last time, the Hawks came away disappointed.
The Hawks held a two-goal lead in the third period Saturday night but the Red Wings stormed back to tie it and eventually defeated the Hawks 5-4 in a shootout before a crowd of 20,066 at Joe Louis Arena.
After the Wings took a 2-0 lead in the opening minutes of the first period, the Hawks reeled off four straight goals—two by Jonathan Toews—to lead 4-2 entering the third. The Hawks had that same lead Oct. 25, and the Wings came back to win 6-5 in a shootout.
"It's frustrating because in the second intermission we talked about the last game," Toews said. "We did everything we could to not let that happen again. You have to give them credit for their skill and the way they play."
The victory dropped the Hawks' record to 11-6-7 overall and 4-5-3 on the road. They earned a point, but came away disappointed after again having the Wings on the ropes.
"They're always coming at you," Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said. "I think we played well. We outshot them (32-30) and had a boatload of chances. We're just proving to ourselves we can play with these teams. We just have to do a better job of putting them away."
After Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler scored goals in the first five minutes of the first, it looked like the Wings were going to dominate.
But Patrick Sharp scored his team-leading 15th goal of the season and Toews netted the next two, including a highlight-reel effort to tie it 2-2 with just more than three minutes remaining in the first.
Toews picked up a loose puck beyond the red line, skated right around the Wings' Dan Cleary and, with Brad Stuart closing, switched to his backhand to beat Detroit goaltender Ty Conklin.
He added his seventh with five seconds left in the first and then Andrew Ladd made it 4-2 Hawks early in the second.
"We were playing the perfect game," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "I still liked all aspects of our game."
The Wings got third-period goals by Henrik Zetterberg and Marian Hossa to tie it, and then Pavel Datsyuk beat Hawks goalie Cristobal Huet for the only goal in the shootout to secure the victory.
Toews, Sharp and Patrick Kane, who along with Cam Barker and Brian Campbell each had two assists, failed against Conklin in the shootout.
"We gave it as hard as we have probably all year in all three periods," Toews said. "This is a character builder and in a lot of ways we can learn from this game, [but] it's a tough loss. We have to be really frustrated about this and take it out on the next guys."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun