CHICAGO — Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger scored 3:21 apart during the third to propel the Blackhawks to a 4-1 win over the Red Wings on Wednesday in the opener of the West semifinal.
Jimmy Howard made 38 saves for Detroit. Only five (on six shots) came in the first against Chicago, which hadn't played since May 9. But at one point, Chicago had 27 shots over a 28-minute span.
"We didn't put any pressure on them at all," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "It was a grinding game from our end 'cause we never get out of our zone."
Tied at 1, Howard stopped Dave Bolland on a breakaway 4½ minutes into the third. But Chicago went ahead when Oduya drifted in from the point and sent Patrick Sharp's pass past Howard.
"We had a lot of chances," Oduya said. "And I got lucky that one went in."
Kruger jumped on a loose puck to make it 3-1.
"It's a little scary playing in a tie game with a team like that," said Sharp, whose empty-netter sealed it. "But good teams don't change the way they play. They just continue to play the team system. That's what we did."
Shark suspended for now: San Jose wing Raffi Torres was suspended pending today's hearing for Tuesday's hit of Kings center Jarret Stoll. Stoll, out indefinitely, was bent forward when Torres approached him from the side for a shoulder-to-shoulder hit. Stoll's head snapped back violently before he fell forward. Torres, whose history of questionable play includes a 21-game suspension for a hit during last season's playoffs, was given a minor penalty for charging.
Senators: Defenseman Eric Gryba likely will miss Friday's Game 2 of the East semifinal with an upper-body injury. He was hit hard by Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on Tuesday.
Outdoor games: Two games will be held at New York's Yankee Stadium next season: Rangers-Devils on Jan. 26 and Rangers-Islanders on Jan. 29. Other outdoor games set for next season are: Leafs-Wings at Ann Arbor's Michigan Stadium, Ducks-Kings at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium and Blackhawks-Penguins at Chicago's Soldier Field.
Around the league: Chicago's Jonathan Toews, Boston's Patrice Bergeron and Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk are the finalist for the Selke Award, which goes to the best defensive forward. … Edmonton's City Council approved a deal for a new Oilers arena. The team will contribute $161.5 million to the $604.5 million project, which includes $480 million for the arena expected to open in 2016.
Late Tuesday: Jonathan Quick made 35 saves as the Kings beat the Sharks 2-0 in the opener of the West semifinal. Slava Voynov and Mike Richards each had a goal and an assist in Los Angeles' 11th consecutive home win dating to the regular season.
First Period—1, Chicago, Hossa 4 (Toews, Sharp), 9:03 (pp). 2, Detroit, Brunner 3 (Nyquist, Ericsson), 10:57. Penalties—Nyquist, Det (hooking), 8:01; Shaw, Chi (tripping), 12:18; Shaw, Chi (boarding), 16:42.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Leddy, Chi (delay of game), 2:28; Quincey, Det (holding), 4:57; Abdelkader, Det (slashing, roughing), 10:06; Bolland, Chi (roughing, slashing), 10:06; Kronwall, Det (tripping), 13:26.
Third Period—3, Chicago, Oduya 2 (Sharp, Kane), 8:02. 4, Chicago, Kruger 2 (Carcillo, Leddy), 11:23. 5, Chicago, Sharp 6 (Hjalmarsson), 19:11 (en). Penalties—None. Shots on Goal—Detroit 7-5-9—21. Chicago 6-17-19—42. Power-play opportunities—Detroit 0 of 3; Chicago 1 of 3. Goalies—Detroit, Howard 4-4-0 (41 shots-38 saves). Chicago, Crawford 5-1-0 (21-20).