Detroit, MI (Sports Network) – Brent Seabrook had a goal and an assist and Corey Crawford made 26 saves, as the Chicago Blackhawks inched closer to a playoff berth with a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
Marian Hossa also added a goal and an assist for Chicago, which needs one more point to clinch a postseason spot. The defending Stanley Cup Champions have 97 points, and will close their regular season Sunday in the finale of this home-and-home set.
Jimmy Howard allowed all four goals on 29 shots for the Red Wings, who have already clinched the Central Division title.
Chicago took control quickly, scoring three times in the first 8:45 of the game.
Seabrook netted the first goal only 27 seconds in, a snap shot set up by Patrick Sharp.
Several minutes later, the Red Wings collected the puck in their own zone and prepared to set up an attack. However, Patrick Kane poked the puck away from a Detroit skater, leaving it in the middle of the slot.
Because most Detroit players had vacated the area, Ben Smith easily picked up the puck and fired a wrister past Howard at 6:07. It was the rookie’s first career goal in his fifth game.
Brian Campbell capped the scoring binge by maneuvering the puck around a sprawled Howard and into the open net.
The Blackhawks made it a 4-0 game in the second period during a power play. Seabrook sent the puck from deep in the Chicago zone to Detroit’s blue line, splitting two Red Wings defenders with a pass that met Hossa, who had skated to the center of the ice from the boards.
Hossa skated in alone and beat Howard with a wrister at the 6:44 mark.
Drew Miller chipped in a Johan Franzen pass with 21.2 seconds left in the period, but Detroit never mounted a comeback in the third, getting only Tomas Holmstrom’s tally with under two minutes to go.
Also in the third period, Chicago forward Tomas Kopecky left the game after a shot hit him on the left side of the head. He skated off the ice by himself and went directly to the locker room.
Only three penalties were called in the game…Kane finished with two assists…Chicago has taken four of the five matchups this season…Detroit finished with a 21-14-6 record at home. Chicago was 20-12-9 on the road.