NHL: Red Wings contain Blackhawks whiz kids Kane, Toews
By George Sipple
Detroit Free Press
DETROIT — The Chicago Blackhawks’ dynamic duo of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews failed to put a shot on net for two periods of play in a 5-2 loss to the Red Wings in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
Kane finished with no shots on net, a minus-3 rating and one hit in 15:10. Toews had three shots, was also minus-3 and lost eight of 15 face-offs in 14:45.
“They were all over me tonight, so I was trying to set up more,” said Kane, who leads the Blackhawks with eight playoff goals. “But definitely gotta find a way to get more shots for sure.
“We tried to make a statement tonight, obviously. This was a big game for us and I thought we had the start we wanted getting a 1-0 lead. But they came back and obviously took it to us the second half of the game.”
The Wings didn’t allow much open ice for Kane.
“When I had the puck they kind of collapsed on me,” Kane said. “I was trying to find the open guy a little bit more.”
The Wings relied on forwards Henrik Zetterberg, Dan Cleary and Johan Franzen, and defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski to limit the duo.
Told Kane had no shots on net, Wings coach Mike Babcock said: “Well, you know, let’s not get carried away. It’s one game. But Z and his linemates, Mule and Cleary, and then obviously Nick and Raf on the back, they make it hard on you. You know, I think even last series, as dominant as (Ryan) Getzlaf was, I think Getzlaf ended up getting outscored by those guys in the series even-strength.
Cleary scored twice, Franzen had a goal and Zetterberg scored on an empty-netter.
“We played them the right way,” Franzen said of shutting down Kane and Toews. “We always had a guy high and slowed them down and deflected them to the outside. That’s the key against those guys because they’re so skilled.”
What can Kane do differently in Game 2 on Tuesday?
“Just try to take the puck to the net a little more,” Kane said. “They play a good defensive game. Even the forwards are pretty good defensively.”
Toews, Chicago’s 21-year-old captain, said the Blackhawks weren’t patient enough with the puck.
“Didn’t protect it well enough, and when you turn it over they’re not an easy team to get that puck back from,” Toews said. “I think we wasted a lot of energy on defense tonight.
“We’re going to have to work a lot harder and be smarter if we want to get more scoring chances and create offense.”
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said his players have to handle that matchup better.
“When we do have the puck, we’ve got to make sure that we want to keep it and support it,” he said. “I know we do have some speed in our transition game. We notice they’ve got a lot as well. I think there’s respect that we got to have when we’re in vulnerable areas to make a play and try to get through it.”