For two straight games, the young Detroit Red Wings have made the mighty Chicago Blackhawks look vulnerable.
Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller scored 31 seconds apart midway through the second period and Pavel Datsyuk restored a two-goal lead in the third to help the hosts beat the Blackhawks, 3-1, on Monday night and take a 2-1 lead in the second-round series.
Chicago has lost consecutive games for the first time in nearly two months.
As good as the Red Wings have looked — scoring six straight goals to earn momentum in the matchup — their hard-driving coach isn’t ready to celebrate.
‘‘We haven’t done anything yet,’’ Mike Babcock said.
That’s an understatement. If the seventh-seeded Red Wings keep playing like they are, the top-seeded Blackhawks will have a long offseason to wonder what went wrong in a season that looked like it was going to be special.
‘‘It takes something like this to slap you in the face, so to speak, to really understand what adversity is and how tough the playoffs can be,’’ Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said.
Toews had a game-high seven shots in Game 3, but Jimmy Howard (39 saves) and his backchecking, shot-blocking teammates wouldn’t let him end his drought.
Patrick Kane scored 4:35 into the third period to pull Chicago within one. About a minute later, the Blackhawks celebrated as if they tied the game, but Andrew Shaw’s goal was waved off because he was in the crease.
Chicago’s goalie, Corey Crawford, couldn’t touch Datsyuk’s shot 6:46 into the final period that went in and out of the net before he saw it.
The Blackhawks began the lockout-delayed season by setting an NHL record with at least a point in their first 24 games, ended it with a league-high 77 points and avoided having a three-game losing streak.
‘‘The team is facing a little adversity and I am on a personal basis,’’ Toews said. ‘‘Not going to let that stop us or me.’’
After a scoreless first period in a hot and steamy Joe Louis Arena, Detroit took a 2-0 lead with a pretty goal and a gritty one.
Nyquist patiently carried the puck from right to left and waited for defenseman Brent Seabrook and Crawford to sprawl out before shooting the puck into the open net.
Miller crashed the net to stuff the puck into the net after Patrick Eaves got to his own rebound to keep pressure on Crawford. Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival started the sequence with a turnover in the Chicago end.
. . .
Craig Anderson has his game back, and just in time to give the Senators a chance.
He was a pivotal part of Ottawa’s 2-1 double-overtime win over visiting Pittsburgh on Sunday that cut the Penguins’ lead to 2-1 in the second-round series.
Anderson made 49 saves in Game 3, a stunning performance that came after he was pulled less than two minutes into the second period of Game 2 after allowing three goals on 21 shots.
The Senators put the game away when Colin Greening scored in the eighth minute of double overtime. Game 4 is Wednesday before the series shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Friday.
Anderson shut down Sidney Crosby on a breakaway and made an acrobatic stop on Evgeni Malkin, who used every move in his repertoire to get around the Ottawa defense and get a shot off in the first overtime.
‘‘One of the more clutch performances from a goaltender, because of the stakes and the landscape of the series and how it would have changed had we gone down 3-0 in the series,’’ said Senators forward Jason Spezza, who made his playoff debut Sunday following back surgery that limited him to five games at the start of the regular season.