Detroit Red Wings defenseman Ruslan Salei (24), from Russia, and goalie Jimmy Howard (35) go for the puck in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Detroit, Friday, April 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
DETROIT - The Chicago Blackhawks were the more desperate team and it showed.
Brent Seabrook and Marian Hossa each had a goal and an assist to help Chicago beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on Friday night.
Battling for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, the defending Stanley Cup champions took control from the opening faceoff and led 3-0 just 8:45 into the game.
"Obviously, they are already in the playoffs and we don't have sure playoffs. We had the energy," said Hossa, a former Red Wing. "It seemed like we took the momentum right from the beginning."
Ben Smith and Brian Campbell also scored for Chicago. Patrick Kane had two assists, and Corey Crawford made 26 saves.
Drew Miller and Tomas Holmstrom scored for Detroit, third in the Western Conference. Jimmy Howard stopped 25 shots.
"We got down 4-0. I don't know if we ever got playing," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.
The teams will finish the regular season Sunday with a rematch in Chicago.
"Either way, we'll have to get on a roll from here and play a good game on Sunday," Campbell said.
Meanwhile, the Red Wings—who have been inconsistent, particularly at home—have one last game to try and create momentum for the playoffs.
"We're trying to figure it out," Danny Cleary said. "Figuring out what we can be doing differently."
Seabrook opened the scoring just 27 seconds into the game when he put in a one-time shot from the bottom of the right circle. It was Seabrook's eighth goal.
Smith made it 2-0, at 6:07. After Kane knocked the puck away from Valtteri Filppula in the high slot area, it went right to Smith between the hashmarks and he beat Howard for his first career goal.
Campbell's fifth goal, at 8:45, made it 3-0. He moved in from the right circle, made a move past Howard and slid the puck into the empty net.
"We came out and gave a great effort. All four lines were generating a lot of chances," Blackhawks' captain Jonathan Toews said. "You get a lead that early, you can sometimes think they're going to throw in the towel. But they're not that kind of team. We did a good job to stay with it."
Hossa scored on the power play 6:44 into the second period. It was his 25th goal.
Miller put Detroit on the scoreboard with 22 seconds left in the middle period with his ninth goal. Miller tipped Johan Franzen's pass past Crawford.
Holmstrom's 17th goal came with 1:20 left.
NOTES: Detroit was without C Henrik Zetterberg (lower-body injury) and D Niklas Kronwall (upper-body injury). Both will also miss Sunday's regular-season finale in Chicago. Zetterberg will be day-to-day for the playoffs and Kronwall is expected to be ready to play when the post-season begins. ... Chicago LW Troy Brouwer (upper body injury) missed his second game. ... Red Wings' C Kris Draper was a healthy scratch. ... Blackhawks' RW Tomas Kopecky left the ice and went to the dressing room holding the side of his head after Viktor Stalberg's deflected shot hit Kopecky in the head with 8:26 left. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said Kopecky was OK after the game. ... The Red Wings have lost four straight to the Blackhawks. ... Smith is accustomed to good things happening to him at this time of year in Detroit. A year ago, he helped Boston College win the NCAA championship in the Frozen Four at Detroit's Ford Field.