The Detroit Red Wings' penalty killers were gasping for air by the time they got back to the bench early in the second period Monday.

The Chicago Blackhawks had them hemmed in their zone, forcing them to take extremely long shifts. Jonathan Ericsson and Drew Miller were on the ice for 3:15, Niklas Kronwall for 2:46 and Patrick Eaves for 2:15.

“We were all just thinking 'get a whistle,' '' goaltender Jimmy Howard said. “With it being so hot outside and cramming 20,000-plus in here, it was warm out on the ice. I think we were all sucking wind there for a couple of minutes.''

Said Eaves: “We were pretty tired. They had a lot of skill on the ice and had the puck. But we weathered the storm there.''

They gained some momentum from it. Minutes later, Gustav Nyquist and Miller scored 31 seconds apart, and the Red Wings went on to beat the Blackhawks 3-1 in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals, taking a 2-1 series lead.

“That could have been a turning point if they would have scored on that power play and extended end-zone shift,'' Eaves said. “But with Howie back there, if we could keep them to the outside and knock any rebounds away, he’s going to do a good job for us.”

After Joakim Andersson won the defensive-zone faceoff, Damien Brunner flung the puck down the ice for Nyquist to chase down. He did just that, made a good move around Brent Seabrook in the zone and waited for Corey Crawford to go down before shooting it in from a sharp angle at 7:49.