Detroit earns the extra point as Blackhawks fall 5-4 in a SO - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Detroit earns the extra point as Blackhawks fall 5-4 in a SO

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

In what could be best characterized as an entertaining game, the Chicago Blackhawks lost 5-4 in a shootout to the injury riddled Detroit Red Wings. It looked like this contest mattered more to Detroit. The Blackhawks should take the point and move on because on Wednesday night they were not the better team.

The evening started out fine for Chicago as they jumped out to a two goal advantage. Maybe too many players thought this one was in the bag but the Wings had a different idea.

After getting the lead, the Hawks took their foot off the gas and that can be a mistake. It was Wednesday night as the Red Wings are battling for their playoff lives. Detroit tied the score and went on to give the Blackhawks all they could handle.

Missing the postseason is foreign to the Red Wings. The last time Detroit didn't play in the playoffs George Bush was president as they have qualified in 22 straight seasons.

The fact the Wings are without their starting goaltender, their best player and three other top forwards didn't prevent them from outworking the Hawks for much of the night.

It doesn't happen often but the Blackhawks had a lot of passengers. Johnny Oduya had a rough night and he wasn't alone. Many players were not noticeable.

Marian Hossa had a goal and Patrick Kane recorded two assists but the best player for Chicago was Brandon Saad. Although he did draw two consecutive penalties. The young winger has now played in 100 NHL games.

The Chicago third line was not involved. Michal Handzus was invisible and Kris Versteeg didn't do much either. Bryan Bickell continues to struggle and saw only 9:31 of ice time, which was a game low.

Corey Crawford didn't have a great outing and the same could be said for Jonas Gustavsson.

Both goalies couldn't be faulted in some ways and they did make tough saves late in the game. Gustavsson did have an excuse for looking rusty as he hasn't played since December 28. Crawford will most likely get a chance to rest and regroup as Antti Raanta should get the call in Minnesota Thursday night.

The Wild are also battling for a playoff spot. They are 7-3 in their last 10, but are coming off a 4-0 loss on Tuesday night in Dallas. The Wild, like the Red Wings have injury concerns and will be looking to get back on the winning track.

The Hawks will have to battle through fatigue to be able to bank some points versus the Wild, but this should be an advantageous stretch. Their schedule over the next three games is about as soft as it will be for awhile.

After the Wild the Hawks will face the Jets who have an uphill battle to qualify for the playoffs. Then they will take to the road to meet the Flames. Calgary would need a minor miracle to be able to play postseason hockey this year.

The Blackhawks are able to win when not sharp, and they almost did so in Detroit. Focus has a great influence on performance and it looked like the Hawks didn't stay dialed in for the full game.

Joel Quenneville will be on his club to bring up the compete level, especially against teams fighting for their playoff lives.

I will be back Friday morning and you can follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia.

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