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THREE THINGS: Roadblock, Slow Going and Different Look

Three takeaways from Chicago's 2-1 loss to Detroit on Friday night

by Chris Kuc @ChrisKuc / Blackhawks.com

The Blackhawks' worst-case scenario came true: They couldn't solve the team with the fewest points in the NHL.

Playing with heavy legs in the third game in four nights, the Blackhawks ran into a hot goaltender and fell to the Red Wings 2-1 on Friday night in Detroit.

With just their 16th victory this season, the Red Wings halted the Blackhawks' four-game winning streak and dealt a severe blow to their Original Six rival's Western Conference postseason chances.

"We talked about them coming at us hard, especially early on trying to make things difficult for us and they did," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews told reporters after the game.

Tyler Bertuzzi and Robby Fabbri scored and Jonathan Bernier was terrific in goal with 31 saves to lead the Red Wings.

Patrick Kane had the Blackhawks' goal but it wasn't enough as Corey Crawford - starting in net for the second time in as many nights - allowed the two goals on 25 shots.

"I think we got better as the game went on," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith told reporters. "It felt like it was a pretty close game. It seemed like they had a lot of energy. They did a good job defending. I think we did a better job as the game went along but, unfortunately, obviously not good enough.

Video: CHI Recap: Kane, Blackhawks fall to Red Wings

Here are three takeaways from the Blackhawks' loss:


ROADBLOCK

Bernier was the best player on the ice and established early on that he would be a thorn in the Blackhawks' side.

In the early moments of the game, the veteran netminder slid from post to post to deny Alex DeBrincat on a terrific chance off a 2-on-1 with Drake Caggiula. Bernier then stopped DeBrincat's rebound chance to keep the game scoreless.

"We had some chances, no question," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton told reporters. "We had a couple of 2-on-1s and some good looks. We have some guys who typically finish there and it didn't happen (Friday night). It's just one of those nights."

The 31-year-old Bernier turned aside several quality opportunities by the Blackhawks and yielded only Kane's 31st goal of the season off a pretty passing play from Toews to Brandon Saad to Kane late in the second.

"(Bernier) was a big difference out there," Keith said. "We had a lot of looks - I know I did from the point there - and it just seemed like he was able to see everything and get in the way, even if it was tipped. He was good for them."

Added Toews: "He made some big stops. Give him credit."

Video: CHI@DET: Kane caps pretty passing play from in close


SLOW GOING

The Blackhawks appeared to be a tired group after arriving at their hotel at 3:30 a.m. Eastern following their win over the Oilers on Thursday night and then playing for the third time in four nights.

The Red Wings, who hadn't played since Monday night, seemed to take advantage of that, especially in the first half of the game when they had the Blackhawks on their heels.

"I don't think our skating was there early," Toews said. "We couldn't quite get through the neutral zone, get pucks back in their zone and sustain any sort of pressure. It was just up and down and back in our end."

Said Colliton: "We didn't have a great start. They were a little sharper early on. I thought we got better as the game went on and we had our chances. I just thought they had a little more juice than we did. We had a lot of guys play a lot of minutes (Thursday night) and kind of the same situation (Friday night). I thought the guys competed and we generated some chances. We didn't finish."

Video: Keith, Toews on loss to DET


DIFFERENT LOOK

Colliton had kept the Blackhawks' lineup intact during the previous games of the winning streak but was forced to make changes against the Red Wings. First, defenseman Lucas Carlsson was a scratch after entering concussion protocol as the result of taking a puck to his head during the Blackhawks' 4-3 victory over the Oilers on Thursday night and was replaced by Nick Seeler.

Dennis Gilbert arrived from AHL Rockford on an emergency recall Friday and was thrust into the lineup when fellow defenseman Adam Boqvist was a late scratch with a right wrist injury. Boqvist skated in the early portion of warmups but it was decided he couldn't play in the game.

"(Boqvist) missed time … last game," Colliton told reporters. "He left during the second period (Thursday night) and he came back but in the end he couldn't get through it."

Seeler had two blocks in 13:29 of ice time against the Red Wings while Gilbert had two hits in 13:36.

Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks announced that veteran forward Zack Smith had back surgery and is expected to be ready to return in 3-4 months.

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