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16.05.2018 13:37
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DETROIT -- The young Detroit Red Wings have made the mighty Chicago Blackhawks look vulnerable, beating them two straight times to gain an advantage in their last playoff matchup as Western Conference rivals. Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller scored 31 seconds apart midway through the second period and Pavel Datsyuk restored a two-goal lead in the third to help Detroit beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 Monday night and take a 2-1 lead in the second round series. As good as the Red Wings have looked -- scoring six straight goals to earn momentum in the matchup -- their hard-driving coach isnt ready to celebrate. "We havent done anything yet," Mike Babcock said. Thats an understatement. If the seventh-seeded Red Wings keep playing like they are, the top-seeded Blackhawks will have a long off-season to wonder what went wrong in a season that looked like it was going to be special. On Thursday night at home in Game 4, Detroit has a shot to put Chicago on the brink of elimination. "It takes something like this to slap you in the face, so to speak, to really understand what adversity is and how tough the playoffs can be," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "A lot of guys in this room have been in tough positions before in the playoffs and thats never stopped us. We know this is a long series and were going to be fighting until the end." Chicagos chances will improve if Toews can end his goal-scoring skid. He doesnt have a goal in nine playoff games, dating to last year. He matched Patrick Kane with a team-high 23 goals in the 48-game, lockout-shortened season. Toews did have a game-high seven shots in Game 3, but Jimmy Howard and his backchecking, shot-blocking teammates wouldnt let him end his drought. "Im not going to let it get the best of me," Toews said. "I know Im doing good things. Im very confident that its going to come." Kane scored 4:35 into the third period to pull Chicago within one. About a minute later, the Blackhawks celebrated as if they tied the game, but Andrew Shaws goal was waved off because he was in the crease. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said he disagreed with the call that negated Shaws game-tying score. "He didnt touch the goalie," Quenneville said. And Chicagos goalie, Corey Crawford, couldnt touch Datsyuks shot 6:46 into the final period that went in and out of the net before he saw it. Crawford finished with 27 saves. Howard stopped 39 shots. Chicago has lost consecutive games for the first time in nearly two months. The Blackhawks began the lockout-delayed 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. "The team is facing a little adversity and I am on a personal basis," Toews said. "Not going to let that stop us or me." After a scoreless first period in a hot and steamy Joe Louis Arena, Detroit took a 2-0 lead with a pretty goal and a gritty one. Nyquist patiently carried the puck from right to left and waited for defenceman Brent Seabrook and Crawford to sprawl out to make a shot before shooting the puck into the open net. "Hes real good at hanging onto the puck," Babcock said. Miller crashed the net to stuff the puck into the net after Patrick Eaves got to his own rebound to keep pressure on Crawford. Blackhawks defenceman 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 series opener 4-1 and gave up the first goal of Game 2 before going on to even the series with a 4-1 victory. "Theyre a real good team and theyre going to carry the play at times," Babcock said. "Were a good team and were going to carry the play at times." NOTES: Babcock won his 77th post-season game, matching Quenneville for the most among active coaches and trailing Pat Burns by one victory for 8th place on the NHLs all-time list. ... Chicago hasnt given up a power play goal in its first eight playoff games, matching the 2001 St. Louis Blues for the longest such streak since 1988, according to STATS. ... The Blackhawks put Viktor Stalberg back in the lineup, and scratched Daniel Carcillo, and Stalberg got shook up early in the game, missing a check and going head first into the boards. Baker Mayfield Jersey . Jason Zucker and Matt Cooke also scored for Minnesota, which has won five of six. Kuemper made five saves in the first, nine in the second, and nine in the third. The rookies best save came with 2:17 left in the third period when he denied former Wild forward Matt Cullen from just outside of the crease on the right side. 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