DETROIT — Former University of Maine goaltender Jimmy Howard made 39 saves as the Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 at Joe Louis Arena on Monday night to take a 2-1 series lead over the Presidents’ Trophy winners in the Western Conference semifinals.
Game 4 is Thursday night in Detroit.
Another former Black Bear, Gustav Nyquist, and Drew Miller scored 31 seconds apart in the second period, and Pavel Datsyuk added a third-period goal for Detroit.
Patrick Kane got Chicago’s lone goal, and Corey Crawford stopped 27 shots.
Kane’s goal 4:35 into the third cut the Blackhawks’ deficit to 2-1. He scored on a breakaway, beating Howard between the pads. It was Kane’s second goal, and came seconds after Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson checked Detroit’s Johan Franzen into the boards at the other end of the ice, leaving Franzen on the ice. Franzen went back to the bench after he was tended to by Red Wings trainer Piet Van Zant, and he returned to the game.
The Blackhawks had an apparent goal waved off 5:42 into the third period because Andrew Shaw was in the crease.
Datsyuk restored Detroit’s two-goal lead 6:46 into the third when he beat Crawford with a wrist shot from the left circle, high on the short side. It was Datsyuk’s third goal of the playoffs.
Detroit’s third and fourth lines produced the second-period surge.
Nyquist opened the scoring at 7:49 of the middle period when he took a pass off the boards, cut in off the right wing, put the puck between the skates of Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook, held onto the puck as he cut across the slot and beat Crawford — who was out of position — from deep in the left circle. It was Nyquist’s second goal of the playoffs.
Miller, who was playing in his second game since returning from a broken hand suffered on April 20, made it 2-0 at 8:20 when he poked in a puck that was lying in the crease.
The Blackhawks outshot the Red Wings 40-30, including a 17-7 margin in the third period.
NOTES: Chicago right winger Viktor Stalberg returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the first two games of the series. He returned to his usual spot on the third line with Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell. Dave Bolland, who played on that line the first two games against Detroit, moved to the second line with Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad. LW Daniel Carcillo was a healthy scratch. … With a few young players coming of age, Detroit’s upset of Anaheim in the first round and being tied with the Blackhawks at a game apiece coming into Monday night’s Game 3, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said this is the most fun he’s had had coaching in a couple of years.