The Blackhawks’ shots on Thursday found Red Wings skates, shins and legs almost as often as they forced Red Wings goalie Thomas Greiss to do something.
The Wings’ shots tested Kevin Lankinen with a much higher frequency, and that made all the difference in the Hawks’ 4-1 loss Thursday in Detroit.
“We played hard and we had our chances,” Duncan Keith said. “The goals that they scored, we didn’t make them work as hard as we had to for ours. That’s pretty much the story of the game.”
The Hawks actually led in shot attempts 61-43, but put only 25 shots on goal compared to 24 that were blocked. The Wings recorded 28 shots on goal versus only six blocked.
That disparity — combined with a few glaring defensive breakdowns — doomed the Hawks on a night they easily could have made up ground in the playoff race on the Predators, who lost 4-1 to the Hurricanes.
Yet Keith, Dylan Strome and coach Jeremy Colliton — the three Hawks who spoke to the media afterwards — had a relatively positive view of the team’s effort.
“Everyone played hard,” Colliton said. “There are small details we can improve on and keep working on getting better. But I don’t have any complaints with the approach of the team and the work ethic.”
The Hawks led 1-0 after the first period on a Keith goal but saw the game turn in the second, when the Wings scored three times in a span of 6:26.
After Lankinen’s error gave the hosts a tying goal, Connor Murphy forgot to hang back during an expiring power play and Jakub Vrana scored on the breakaway out of the penalty box. Minutes later, the entire five-man unit lost track of pinching Wings defenseman Troy Stetcher.
Many players vaccinated
The Hawks held an optional COVID-19 vaccination event for players and staff Wednesday.
Colliton said “a good number” of players took the shot but implied not all did. Colliton and other members of the coaching staff were vaccinated weeks ago.
“Every single person that gets vaccinated is a step closer to getting back to normal, both as a team but in public life,” Colliton said. “We’d all like to get closer to the way we were living before.
“Not everyone is always on the same page with their personal opinions, but that’s part of life, personal choice.”
Forward Ryan Carpenter said he took the vaccine despite having the virus earlier this season.
“It’ll be nice just to know that [I’ll be] safer going forward and maybe won’t have to worry about it as much,” Carpenter said. “Besides my shoulder being a little sore . . . I really haven’t had any other symptoms. I wouldn’t have known I had taken it.”