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Blackhawks vs Red Wings

Posted On Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 5:02 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Red Wings tinker with look of power play

CHICAGO -- The Detroit Red Wings might tweak the look of their power play for Game 7 of their Western Conference Semifinal against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

During their morning skate, the Red Wings practiced the power play using somewhat of an umbrella scheme, with only defenseman Niklas Kronwall at the point. Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen were on the flanks with Justin Abdelkader in front of the net and Henrik Zetterberg roaming.

"We tried it out in practice," Abdelkader said. "We'll see what happens in the game, if it stays or not, but if it does we've just got to shoot pucks and get second chances, second rebounds and break them down. Power plays always start with a shot, so we've got to make sure we're shooting, getting pucks back and taking them to the net."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 6:04 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Frolik in NHL record book with 2nd penalty shot

CHICAGO -- Michael Frolik couldn’t believe it when he looked at his phone following Monday's game at Joe Louis Arena.

The Chicago Blackhawks forward had quite a few text messages waiting for him after he scored the eventual game-winning goal on a penalty shot in the third period of a 4-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

The Original Six rivals will conclude the series Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). But Frolik's legend has already grown, as his mobile phone kept reminding him Monday night.

"It kept ringing after the game," Frolik said. "That was kind of nice. It's amazing how many people follow that. I was happy to hear from so many people."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 12:37 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Despite loss, Red Wings excited for Game 7

The Detroit Red Wings have failed twice to eliminate the Chicago Blackhawks.

Coach Mike Babcock is very much looking forward to the third try.

"If I would have told our whole team before this series, if I would have told Detroit, Michigan before this series, that we were going to be playing Chicago in Game 7, I think everyone would have been pretty excited about that," Babcock said Monday night, after it was made necessary. "I love Game 7s. I'm excited about it. We've got a chance to push them out of the playoffs -- should be a lot of fun."

Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinal between the Red Wings and Blackhawks will be played Wednesday at United Center in Chicago (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The Blackhawks survived Game 6, winning 4-3 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, where the Red Wings took a 2-1 lead into the third period.

The Red Wings had won three straight to build a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. Now they must play their second Game 7 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs; they won their first against the Anaheim Ducks to end round one.

"We just have to go to Chicago and play a good game," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg told Fox Sports Detroit. "As I said before, in the first series, it's not often you have a chance to play in Game 7. We're going to regroup here, we're going to stick together, we're going to come out and play a good game, and it's going to be a lot of fun."

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Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 7:21 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Blackhawks unite fans of Cubs, White Sox

CHICAGO -- It's almost like a holiday in the Windy City whenever the White Sox and Cubs face each other, especially if you like your holidays spiced with bitterness, jealously and downright hatred.

In this city, fans are typically either White Sox black or Cubby blue with no exceptions made -- or love lost -- on either side. Monday night at the White Sox's U.S. Cellular Field, however, the "neutral" colors were red and black, the main color scheme of the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks.

Thanks to Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Blackhawks and rival Detroit Red Wings starting at 7 p.m. Central -- a potential elimination game for Chicago -- the opening game of the annual Cubs-Sox rivalry was forced to share the spotlight.

How much baseball watching will be going on at the ballpark?

"Uh, not a lot," said Tim Light, of Burr Ridge, Ill., who attended the game with his Cubs-fan wife, Debby and proudly wore a Jonathan Toews alternate Blackhawks jersey. "As soon as 7 o'clock comes around, I'll be watching the hockey game."

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Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 12:57 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Blackhawks happy with play of new-look top line

DETROIT -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville had been looking for balance with his forward lines, and he had gone back and forth on the issue with the power play, but after the performance of the team's new-look top line in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals, it's hard to imagine him not sticking with it at the start of Game 6.

Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane played together at even strength from the start of a contest for the first time a while and the results certainly were positive in a 4-1 victory at United Center to pull the Blackhawks to within a game of the rival Detroit Red Wings at 3-2.

The Blackhawks will hope that solid play continues in Game 6 Monday in Detroit (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 12:50 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Hawks, Wings look for momentum with solid start

DETROIT -- The Chicago Blackhawks have talked a lot about momentum in the past few days, and how they believe it finally is shifting to their side after falling behind 3-1 in this Western Conference Semifinal series with the Detroit Red Wings before handily winning Game 5 at United Center.

The Red Wings also have talked a lot about momentum -- about how they don't believe it exists in a playoff series. While both teams are taking the obvious side of a decades-old argument -- certainly the Blackhawks hope they have some momentum and the Red Wings believe they don't -- how Game 6 of the series starts Monday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS) probably will play into the narrative for one side or the other.

"For us, I think we just need to seize the momentum we have here and carry it into Game 6," Chicago forward Patrick Kane said. "It was fun playing in Game 5. That's the way we need to play. I think we had close to 50 shots, pretty much every line was rolling, we had some power-play goals and obviously we got the lead at the start. Hopefully we can get some more of that [in Game 6] and build off it."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 6:15 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Blackhawks' Keith on octopus: 'That thing's gross'

CHICAGO – Prior to a game at Joe Louis Arena last week, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith skated over to chat with Detroit Red Wings Zamboni driver Al Sobotka following the national anthem.

Sobotka, who’s taken care of the ice at ‘The Joe’ for 30 years, has become famous for scooping up octopuses thrown on the playing surface for luck and swinging them over his head to fire up the crowd as he removes them.

The one hurled near the end of the anthem prior to Game 4 of a Western Conference Semifinals series between the Original Six rivals caught Keith’s attention.

“Oh I just wanted to look at that thing,” Keith said on Sunday, prior to flying back to Detroit for Game 6 on Monday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN,CBC, RDS). “I’d never seen something like that, that big.”


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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 6:03 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Lineup changes sparked Blackhawks in Game 5

CHICAGO – The lineup changes that Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville made before Saturday night’s game at United Center appear to have worked.

Quenneville put three of his top four star forwards on the top line – Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane – while also switching around the other three combinations. He also changed his defense pairings back to the way they were to start the season, after splitting all three up on March 31 in Detroit and keeping then that way.

The result was a 45-shot, 4-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of this Western Conference Semifinal series. The win forced a Game 6, which will be played Monday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The Red Wings are up 3-2 in the best-of-7 series, but Chicago’s stretch passes and ability to chase down pucks dumped into the Detroit zone behind defenders loosened up the Detroit defense.


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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 5:44 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

'Kid line' needs to be better for Red Wings in Game 6

DETROIT -- The breakout stars for the Detroit Red Wings in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs hit a bump in the road Saturday night.

Detroit’s “kid line” -- Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist and Damien Brunner -- had given the Red Wings a definitive spark late in a first-round series against the Anaheim Ducks and were a huge reason why they won three of four to start the Western Conference Semifinals against the rival Chicago Blackhawks.

Their work in Game 5 did not measure up to the first four contests.

“They weren't very good last night and they've been pretty good through the playoffs,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Sunday. “Is that part of it? Hindsight is a real good thing. Did we all want the puck all the time? No.”

Brunner has four goals, which ties him for the team lead with Daniel Cleary and Johan Franzen, and eight points, which ties him for second with Cleary and Pavel Datsyuk. Nyquist and Andersson both have four points each, and Nyquist has a pair of big goals. He and Brunner have two of the team’s three overtime tallies.


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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 1:53 AM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Blackhawks finally convert on power play

CHICAGO – It was getting to the point with the Chicago Blackhawks' power play where fans started wishing their favorite team could just decline penalties the way they can in football.

Coming into Saturday night's Game 5 of a Western Conference Semifinal series against the rival Detroit Red Wings at United Center, the Blackhawks were 1-for-12 (8.3 percent) in the series on the man-advantage and 3-for-25 (12 percent) in nine games of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Even worse, in Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena – a 2-0 Detroit victory that gave the Red Wings a commanding 3-1 series lead – Chicago managed to just one shot on goal in three power-play opportunities. The Blackhawks actually topped that number by one shot while shorthanded in that game.

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Quote of the Day

I might have blacked out. I was pretty pumped.

— New Jersey Devils rookie goalie Keith Kinkaid on his first NHL win Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning
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