First, it was the referees. Now, it's the play of the Detroit Red Wings, who took a 2-1 series lead with a 3-1 victory Monday night. Just take a look at the penalties called in the third period -- all five on Chicago. Detroit did their part, killing off four Blackhawks power plays and putting the game out of reach in the second period.
The Red Wings took the game by the neck midway through the second period and never let go. Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller scored 31 seconds apart to give Detroit a 2-0 lead. Nyquist's goal was a thing of beauty:
In the third period, the Blackhawks woke up after a questionable hit from behind by Niklas Hjalmarsson left Johan Franzen down on the ice, and Patrick Kane scored on the ensuing rush. Just over a minute later, Andrew Shaw's goal was waived off for goaltender interference and the momentum swung back in the Red Wings' favor for good.
Jimmy Howard (39 saves) was again solid and the Red Wings continued to receive contributions from their depth, a reason why teams succeed this time of year.
While the Blackhawks will need to quickly move past Game 3, the Red Wings -- halfway to the Western Conference Final -- know there's still work to be done and their next two wins will be the toughest to come by.
"We won tonight, but we've got to be back at it on Thursday," Patrick Eaves told NBCSN's Pierre McGuire afterward.
"Let's be honest, we haven't done anything yet," said Mike Babcock.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy
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