2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs nightly GIF recap: Blackhawks dominate Detroit in Game 1 victory

USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Howard was brilliant, but so was the league's best team.

If we learned anything from Game 1, it was that the Detroit Red Wings are in for a long series with a superior Chicago Blackhawks squad. Despite Jimmy Howard's best efforts, the Hawks took Game 1 in a decisive manner.

Let's find out how...with GIFs!

The game started with a little bit of karma, if you believe in such things. Remember Justin Abdelkader's suspension-worthy hit on Toni Lydman in the first round?

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Well, it came back around.

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We don't like seeing anyone get hurt, and luckily Abdelkader was alright. But that set the tone for the night. Abdelkader made a point of getting in the heads of the Blackhawks, and that included literally tackling them to the ground.

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Anyways, enough about him. On to the scoring! Chicago took advantage of an early power-play opportunity and took a 1-0 lead off a Marian Hossa shot.

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At that point, with the Hawks peppering Jimmy Howard and dominating play, thoughts of a series sweep began to creep into fans' minds. Okay, just my mind. But the Wings bounced back quickly with a Damian Brunner goal.

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The two clubs played a scoreless second period, thanks in part to some brilliant goaltending by Howard. The Blackhawks heavily outshot the Wings, 37-15, and Howard was forced to make huge stops like this to keep his team alive.

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Even while the Hawks were diving for calls. Right, Mike Babcock?

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Eventually, the scoring prowess of Chicago broke the game open in the third period. Johnny Oduya scored the game-winner when Danny Cleary forgot to defend him at the point.

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And Marcus Kruger widened the gap with another goal a few minutes later.

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Down 3-1, Detroit tried to climb back. Their best chance at mounting a comeback ended when the crossbar denied them a goal.

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Oh, and Brent Seabrook. Patrick Sharp potted an empty-netter, and the Hawks took a 4-1 win and a 1-0 series lead.

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