Blackhawks win opener against Red Wings

CHICAGO — Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger scored in the third period, Corey Crawford made 20 saves, and the Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, in the opener of their playoff series Wednesday night.

Marian Hossa scored the opening goal, and Patrick Sharp had an empty-netter and two assists to give him nine points in the playoffs.

‘‘I thought it was our best game of the playoffs, no question,’’ Sharp said.


Jimmy Howard had with 38 stops, but Detroit still lost to rival Chicago for the eighth straight time.

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The series resumes Saturday afternoon in Chicago.

The 75th playoff game between the teams was tied at 1 after two periods.

Chicago went in front to stay on a heady play by Oduya. He drifted in from the point and sent Sharp’s pass past Howard on the glove side with 12 minutes left. Kruger then jumped on a loose puck and sent a backhander into the upper right corner to make it 3-1.

That was more than enough for Crawford, who caught a break when Damien Brunner’s rebound attempt went off the crossbar and straight down before Brent Seabrook swept it away with about three minutes left.


‘‘Sometimes you’ve got to get some breaks,’’ Crawford said. ‘‘Seabs came in there and he made a great play to clear it out.’’