CHICAGO – Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews absorbed all kinds of physical punishment Saturday during a 4-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
Now, Toews wants to return the favor.
“If that’s the way they’re going to play, we need to play the same way,” Toews said after the Wings tied the best-of-seven series, 1-1, in the Western Conference semifinals. “There was a lot of clutch and grab, a lot of interference. If they’re going to let that go, that’s something we need to know and maybe do to them a little bit.”
Perhaps a one-day break will allow Toews to cool down.
However, it was easy to understand the source of the captain’s frustration after Saturday’s loss. Although the Hawks outhit the Wings, 36-26, Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg drilled Toews several times in front of the net, including one play in which Toews was crosschecked in the neck.
No penalty was called on the play, which was a trend that Toews noticed. The Hawks drew five minor penalties in the game while the Wings drew three, including one for delay of game.
“It’s just tough to understand sometimes why we get roughing penalties and hooking penalties, whatever it is, and that doesn’t go both ways,” Toews said. “But it is what it is. If that’s the way it’s going to be, we need to understand that and play more physical and be tougher on them. So we’ll know that going into the next one.”
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said his top line needed to be ready for the Wings’ aggression.
“They’ve got to find a way to fight through it,” Quenneville said. “We’ve got to be harder in the tougher areas, particularly at their net.”
First goal: Patrick Kane was in no mood to celebrate after scoring his first goal of the playoffs on a feed from Michal Handzus early in the first period.
“It’s nice to score, but it didn’t really mean anything to the game,” Kane said.
At the time, Kane’s goal mattered. He gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead at the 5:55 mark of the first period, but the Wings took control with a pair of goals in the second and two more in the third.
Not his fault: Although Corey Crawford allowed four goals for the first time during the postseason, Quenneville did not fault his goaltender for the Hawks’ defensive breakdowns.
Crawford, who stopped 26 of 30 shots, said the loss would do nothing to shake his confidence.
“Whether I played well or it’s a game you just want to forget about,” Crawford said, “it’s always about the next one.”
Hawks bits: Brandon Saad led the Hawks with five shots on goal. … As expected, Viktor Stalberg remained out of the lineup as a healthy scratch for the second straight game.