The Blackhawks began this one a very spirited side while the Wings took a while to get going after their emotional Game 4 victory. Chicago struck first at 14:08 as agitator Bryan Bickell beat Jimmy Howard. That would be the only goal of the period as the Wings seemed to go through the motions and look towards the second.
The Wings looked a bit better in the first half of the second period and had Chicago on their heels in the time leading up to Danny Cleary’s equalizer at 9:37. But then came a penalty parade that resulted in Chicago putting the game away. A Drew Miller hook on Jonathan Toews became an Andrew Shaw power play goal at 13:08, and a Justin Abdelkader cross-check on Patrick Kane turned into a Toews goal at 15:47. Chicago led 3-1 after two.
The Wings continued into the third like they played at the end of the second, and that decidedly mediocre play led to Shaw’s second of the game at 6:58, as the puck took an unusual bounce off the boards and crossed up Howard. The Hawks continued their aggressive, controlling style even with the insurmountable three-goal lead, and Detroit had no answer. Final score was 4-1 in favor of Chicago; they finished with a whopping 45 shots on goal.
Wholly uninspired, outplayed, and at times intimidated, the Wings deserved to not close out this series on this night. Credit Chicago for displaying some mettle and refusing to go out on home ice with a well-played Game 5, but the Wings looked tired and played like they had their minds elsewhere. Back in Detroit? Forward to California? Who knows? Anyway, thanks to this mediocre effort, the Wings now return home with their lead cut to 3-2 and accordingly face a dire situation should something go wrong at the Joe on Monday night. Of course, win Game 6, and the upset is complete. Perhaps Chicago summoned every remaining ounce of energy they had just to force the upcoming sixth game. But lose, and the Hawks steal all the momentum heading back to United Center for Game 7.