COMMENTARY | For the first time all season long, the Chicago Blackhawks appear vulnerable. The same team that got at least one point in its first 24 games has dropped two in a row to the Detroit Red Wings -- who now lead the series 2-1 -- a team they beat four times during the regular season.
The Red Wings are being physical with the Blackhawks, and Chicago is noticeably frustrated. The Chicago Bulls tried to be physical with the Miami Heat during their Eastern Conference semifinal, and the Red Wings are taking a page out of the Bulls' book by getting under the skin of the top-seeded Blackhawks.
Jonathan Toews has been held scoreless not only in the Detroit series, but in the entire postseason. Henrik Zetterberg has done a great job of blanketing him and not giving him any time and space to operate.
The Blackhawks took five penalties in the third period of Game 3, including a 10-minute game misconduct from Andrew Shaw at the end of the game. The Blackhawks haven't faced a lot of adversity this season, and you can tell they are not used to it.
However, the Red Wings' win didn't come without some good fortune.
The referees quickly disallowed the goal saying Shaw was in the crease and impeding Howard from making the save.
Plain and simple: the referees got this call wrong.
I can understand why Blackhawks fans would be upset with this call. Too many times have I seen a Red Wings goal disallowed because Tomas Holmstrom's heel or butt was in the crease without being anywhere near the goalie.
It appeared Howard had every opportunity to make the save, and Shaw did not make contact with Howard despite being nudged into the crease.
With that being said, Patrick Kane's goal shouldn't have counted because Johan Franzen was cross-checked into the boards by Niklas Hjalmarsson before Kane scored and there was no call.
The fortunate thing for the Red Wings is the no-goal call came out a crucial point in the game. Instead of being tied 2-2, the Red Wings remained ahead at 2-1, and Pavel Datsyuk would add an insurance goal about a minute later to put the Red Wings up 3-1.
The Red Wings have made this an interesting series, but it is far from over. If the Blackhawks win Game 4, they reclaim home-ice advantage and it turns into a best-of-three series.
The Blackhawks will no doubt come out of the gate hard to start Game 4 as they felt they were cheated out of game-tying goal. The Red Wings will have to withstand the initial pressure if they want to take a 3-1 series lead heading back to Chicago.
Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Red Wings for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He also is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can find Tom on Twitter @tom_mitsos.
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