DETROIT – Penalty shots are rare and even rarer in the postseason.
Which makes what Chicago’s Michael Frolik pulled off Monday are pretty rare feat.
Frolik began the first play in NHL history to score two goals on penalty shots in the playoffs.
“I was kind of surprised that I was the first one in history,” Frolik said. “It’s a little bit special. I’m glad I can do that and I can be in the history and the club.”
The goal also proved to be the game winner in Chicago’s 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 6 of their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series.
“I have nothing to lose,” Frolik said of his attempt. “I tried to just take a deep breath and focus and do the shot. I didn’t have anything to lose. I was happy it went in.”
Frolik went forehand and back to his backhand to lift it over Jimmy Howard’s glove.
“I have a few moves and this is one of them, and I tried some moves on Jimmy Howard before and they didn’t work out,” Frolik said. “This one I didn’t try, so I said, let’s give it a shot, and it worked out.”
He also scored on a penalty shots with the Blackhawks on April 24, 2011 in Game 6 of the Western Conference quarterfinals against Vancouver.
With the Wings trailing 3-2, defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo tried to put a shot on goal from the blue line only to have it blocked by Frolik and he was off to the races.
Colaiacovo tried to catch the Blackhawks forward and took a swing at his stick and hit Frolik in the right hand which didn’t allow him to get a shot off.
“It hit the guy’s hand as he was skating by and he had momentum,” Colaiacovo said. “I tried to catch him. I thought I hit him in the leg. I didn’t really think I impacted his hands too much. It was a questionable call. The ref, I think he was in a good spot to make it. Tough call to make at that point in the game but it is what it is. It’s unfortunate it ended up the way that it did but I was just trying to make a good play.”
Colaiacovo was penalized for slashing, but Frolik’s nullified the call.
“I was (surprised) a little bit,” Colaiacovo said. “But even talking to our goalie, he thought he had lost the puck before I touched him anyway. I don’t know. It is what it is. There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s unfortunate the way it ended.”
Howard and Wings coach Mike Babcock did not comment the call, but captain Henrik Zetterberg did.
“It looked weak from the bench,” Zetterberg said. “I don’t know if he had a good angle from where he was standing in the corner. Colo made a little poke on his glove and he lost the puck.”
The other captain, Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, had a different opinion.
“I believe 100 percent they made the right call on the penalty shot and he took full advantage,” Toews said.