and Corey Crawford
are doing their jobs so far as the two goalies have combined for 20 saves, including 10 each, to keep the pivotal game between the Hawks and Wings scoreless after 20 minutes.
The Blackhawks had two power play opportunities but failed to get a shot on goal on either. Their second opportunity, which came when Jonathan Ericsson
was called for holding Jonathan Toews
at 15:23, was much better than their first but it still didn't have any net results.
Hawks forward Jake Dowell
, who had arguably the best scoring chance of the game, finished with a period-high four shots on goal.
Neither team looked tight, which is a good sign, especially with the playoffs starting next week. The Blackhawks have just about everything at stake here so for them to come out and get the jump on the Wings early, not by scoring but with chances and some solid skating, is also a good sign for them.
The United Center crowd, as I've already documented, is very much into this one. They're usually one of the best home crowds in the League, but they've ramped it up today despite the 11:30 a.m. local start time.
On a different, more personal note, kudos to the Blackhawks public relations department for stepping up their game today with the omelette station complete with hash browns, french toast and crispy bacon up here in the press box.
Now that's a way to treat your media.
On to the second period.