CHICAGO – Marian Hossa and Henrik Zetterberg scored two goals each Sunday as the Detroit Red Wings overcame the absences of Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk to rout the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1 and take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference final.
The defending Stanley Cup champions can clinch a return trip to the final with a victory Wednesday at home.
The Red Wings played without six-time Norris Trophy winner Lidstrom, who was scratched due to a lower body injury. MVP finalist Datsyuk missed his second straight game with a sore foot.
Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula also scored for Detroit, and Chris Osgood made 18 saves in two periods. The Red Wings had three power-play goals and one short-handed tally.
Chicago goalie Cristobal Huet, making his first start of these playoffs in place of injured Nikolai Khabibulin, gave up four goals and was pulled in the second. Rookie Corey Crawford took over for the last 15:55 of the period, but Huet returned in the third and gave up Zetterberg’s second power-play goal that made it 6-1.
Jonathan Toews had Chicago’s lone goal on a second-period power play.
Hossa scored a short-handed goal on a 2-on-1 break in the first and Franzen sent the Red Wings ahead 2-0 with only 20.7 seconds left in the period with a hard and high shot from the right side.
Filppula scored on a power play a little more than a minute into the second period for a 3-0 lead. Detroit went on the power play after Chicago’s Matt Walker was assessed a roughing penalty following a scrum at the end of the first.
After Toews scored to cut it to 3-1, Hossa skated in 12 seconds later and beat Huet for his second goal, prompting coach Joel Quenneville to make the switch to Crawford.
Huet returned to start the third and Ty Conklin got some work taking over for Osgood.
Hossa’s scoring had been missing so far in the post-season. After scoring 40 goals during the regular season, he’d managed just four in the playoffs through Detroit’s 14 post-season games before Sunday.
Zetterberg made it 5-1 when he scored on the power play against Crawford when the Red Wings had a two-man advantage in the second.
Franzen’s 10th of the playoffs, just before the first ended, was a real momentum builder for Detroit. As Brian Campbell was skating in front of him to defend, Franzen unleashed the shot that got through Campbell and eluded Huet.
The goal came less than a minute after Osgood made a great save on a driving Toews, who had picked up a loose puck and took it to the net.
Hossa put the Red Wings up early after four Blackhawks, including Campbell, got caught deep in the Detroit zone. Hossa started a 2-on-1, short-handed break to the other end, made a nice crossing pass to Filppula, whose perfectly timed return pass to Hossa allowed him to beat Huet.
Huet’s first appearance of the playoffs came Friday night in Game 3 when he replaced an injured Khabibulin (lower body) to start the third period of Chicago’s 4-3 overtime win.
Notes: Niklas Kronwall, whose hard hit on Chicago RW Martin Havlat forced him out in the first period of Friday night’s game was booed every time he touched the puck. D Chris Chelios, the Chicago native who spent nine seasons with the Blackhawks before being traded to Detroit 10 years ago, made his first appearance of the series. He was also booed, but not as loudly as Kronwall. Havlat, whose status was unclear Saturday when he didn’t practice, got a rousing ovation when introduced.