The Detroit Red Wings said they were a tired team in Game 1 when the Chicago Blackhawks heavily outskated them on the way to a 4-1 series-opening victory. In Game 2, a refreshed Detroit squad turned the tables, tying the series with a 4-1 victory of their own.
The teams had an extra day off in between games, so Detroit looked strong despite finishing the first period trailing 1-0 on Patrick Kane's first playoff goal.
At 16:08 of the second period, Brendan Smith scored on a pinch and gave the Wings all of the margin they would need, creating a 2-1 Detroit lead heading into the third period. It was a redemption of sorts for Smith, who was victimized by Patrick Sharp at the Hawks blueline as Sharp created an odd-man rush the other way. Smith finished a sharp pass from Henrik Zetterberg behind the net.
The third period was more of the same, as the Red Wings completely reversed their Game 1 performance where they had been outshot 42-21. In Game 2, the Wings outskated the Blackhawks and controlled the puck through the neutral zone, outshooting Chicago 30-20.
To provide the insurance goals, Johan Franzen scored after a stretch pass from the Red Wings defense pair of Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall, while Valtteri Filppula finished a nice solo effort after a Zetterberg drop pass to score the final goal of the game.
With the series tied 1-1, Game 3 is Monday in Detroit.
Before the game, we considered three questions for Game 2. Here is how those look now:
Can Detroit get their power play going?
Not yet, but it didn't matter. The Wings went 0-for-4, making it 0-for-7 in the first two games of the series. But their four even strength goals were a sign of their control of Game 2.
Will Chicago get their game in gear earlier than they did in Game 1?
Not really. The Hawks' only goal came 14 minutes into the game, but the story of this game was how the Wings looked far better than in Game 1 throughout.
Can Jimmy Howard steal the Wings a game before they head back to Detroit?
This too was unnecessary. Howard stopped 19 shots and was rarely tested. The skaters in front of him took care of the rest.