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BIG MOMENTS - May 22, 2009: DET @ CHI

Friday, 05.22.2009 / 5:16 PM / Conference Finals: Detroit vs. Chicago


The plays that turn the tide in every game of playoff action -- that is what the beauty of hockey history is built on.

Check back every night following all the 2009 playoff action to witness NHL.com's game-changing moment from each game, as well as the rest of each game's goals, saves and hits.

You can vote on the day's best Big Moment.  Cast your votes after the action.

Thanks to all who voted -- and enjoy the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs!

Detroit at Chicago - Game 3

A) Sharp scores first - Trailing 2-0 in the series, the Blackhawks desperately needed to come out with some fire in Game 3 at the United Center. Fortunately, their power play provided that early spark.

After Dan Cleary was called for a four-minute high-sticking penalty, the Blackhawks capitalized with 1:50 to go on the power play. In the Detroit zone, Martin Havlat fed the puck cross-ice to Dave Bolland, who then made a perfect pass to Brent Seabrook at the point. Seabrook one-timed a slapper that found its way to the front of the net where Patrick Sharp tipped the puck past Chris Osgood.

In a must-win game for Chicago, Sharp's sixth goal of the playoffs gave the Hawks an important 1-0 lead 8:45 into the opening period.

B) Pahlsson's fortuitous deflection - Returning from intermission all fired up and perhaps seeking a bit of revenge for Niklas Kronwall's bone-crushing hit on Martin Havlat, the Blackhawks increased their lead to three goals just 45 seconds into the second period.

The Red Wings had attempted to clear the puck out of their zone, but Duncan Keith caught the weak clear and fired a shot on Chris Osgood from the left point. Sammy Pahlsson had been hovering around the circle and Keith's shot luckily deflected off the shaft of Pahlsson's stick as it went straight through Osgood's five-hole for his first goal since April 22.
C) Lidstrom's lucky bounce - Trailing 3-0 in their first road game of the Western Conference Finals, the Red Wings desperately needed a goal before the second period came to an end.

Applying heavy pressure in Chicago's zone, the Red Wings were rewarded with their third power play of the game. Controlling the play, Marian Hossa fed the puck to Nicklas Lidstrom at the point. Lidstrom surveyed the action and decided to fire a shot towards the net. His slapper deflected off the skate of Chicago penalty killer Samuel Pahlsson and past Nikolai Khabibulin to get the Wings on the board.

Lidstrom's power play goal with 5:22 to go in the second period clearly sparked the Wings and gave them plenty of hope the rest of the way.
D) Ericsson ties it up  - The Wings finished the second period on high note, scoring their third goal in just 4:23 to tie up the game.

Building upon the momentum of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski's goals, the Wings continuously worked hard around and bombarded the Chicago net, outshooting the Hawks 18-8 in the period. Jonathan Ericsson shot from the right point and with the help of Tomas Holmstrom screening Nikolai Khabibulin, the puck slipped past Nikolai Khabibulin.

Tying the game up, the Wings went to the dressing room with a reversal of momentum in this crucial Game 3.

E) Sharp wins it in OT!  - For the second consecutive game, the Blackhawks and Red Wings found themselves in overtime. This time, however, the ending was different.

Controlling the play in Detroit's territory, Matt Walker skated the puck in from the right point. He released a heavy slap shot that found its way on goal through the screen of Dustin Byfuglien. Chris Osgood stopped the initial shot, but Samuel Pahlsson found the rebound and made an unbelievable pass to Patrick Sharp. Sharp, left all alone on the left side of the ice, one-timed the puck past Chris Osgood and into the empty net.

The United Center erupted as Sharp's second goal of the night gave the Hawks a 4-3 victory just 1:52 into overtime and pulled them within 2-1 in the series.

FINAL SCORE: Blackhawks 4, Red Wings 3 (OT)

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres