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Poor start finishes 4-game win streak
By time the Blackhawks put their first shot on goal Saturday13 minutes 20 seconds into the gamethey already were behind three goals.
When former Hawk Kyle Calder scored his second goal, 5:27 into the second period, the Hawks had given up as many goals as they had shotsfive.
In a season with more than its fair share of bad days, Saturday was one more as the Detroit Red Wings rolled over the Hawks 7-2 to close their regular season with 50 victories and 113 points.
"The scoreboard was indicative of the play," Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith said.
Picking up right where they left off Thursday, when they outshot the Hawks 58-21 only to lose in a shootout, the Red Wings jumped on the Hawks early.
It didn't take much for the Red Wings to get going. Defenseman Danny Markov's shot from the point was wide and hit the end boards. But the puck caromed into the goal crease, hit goaltender Patrick Lalime on the skate and went into the net at 4:31 of the first. The rout was on.
"I saw the puck at the last second," Lalime said. "There were a couple others I'd like to have back. It was a game with a lot of traffic in front of the net."
Saturday was not the kind of game a goaltender wants to take into the off-season. Twice Lalime was beaten between his pads on shots that should have been stopped.
Another was deflected by Calder, hit Lalime and then the post before going in, and Kyle Quincy scored his first NHL goal on a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that sneaked between Lalime and the goal post.
"It was a tough game for [Lalime], but we didn't play well in front of him," Hawks coach Denis Savard said.
The loss snapped the Hawks four-game winning streak and was the seventh defeat in eight games against the Red Wings this season.
The Hawks will wrap up another non-playoff season Sunday in Dallas.
"We're lucky we have a game [Sunday] to redeem ourselves," Keith said.
Detroit will have the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs for the second straight season. The Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres finished tied with 113 points, but the Sabres have more victories so they claimed the President's Trophy and will have home-ice throughout the postseason.
Radim Vrbata (14) and Jeff Hamilton (18) had the Blackhawks' goals.
Frustrations spilled over in the third period.
Martin Lapointe was given two misconduct penalties and ejected early in the period, and Cam Barker was given a game misconduct for boarding former Hawk Dan Cleary in the last five minutes.
Lalime was lifted after two periods, allowing seven goals on 24 shots. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped all 15 shots by the Wings in the third period.