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Blackhawks vs Red Wings

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Blackhawks vs Red Wings - 2013 SCP Conference Semifinals

Tale of the tape: Red Wings vs. Blackhawks

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- It will be Team "Momentum" against Team "Third Time Is The Charm" in Game 7 at United Center on Wednesday night.

The Chicago Blackhawks, winners of the Presidents' Trophy after a historic regular season, have a chance to become the 25th NHL team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-7 series. Conversely, the seventh-seeded Detroit Red Wings have a chance to extend their underdog run and knock off their rivals.

Chicago is the 49th team in NHL history to win Games 5 and 6 after falling behind 3-1. If the cliche that a Game 7 is a coin flip wasn't used enough, those teams are 24-24 in the deciding contest.

Do the Blackhawks have the edge when they welcome the Red Wings on Wednesday (8 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS), or can Detroit win a Game 7 on the road for a second straight series?

Blackhawks can get what they need with Game 7 win

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Following a press conference inside the locker room Tuesday afternoon, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was asked to name his favorite Rolling Stones song before he left.

After spending nearly 10 minutes answering questions about Wednesday night's all-or-nothing Game 7 of a Western Conference Semifinal against the rival Detroit Red Wings, Quenneville paused. He thought about it for a second and said, "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

It drew some laughs, but it was the perfect capper to an odd day at United Center.

The Blackhawks, for instance, did their off-day stretching routine in the hallway outside their locker room while workers busily prepped the building for Tuesday night's first of three Rolling Stones concerts scheduled in a week's time. They also embodied Quenneville's favorite Stones song.

Blackhawks, Crawford responded after 'brutal' goal

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

DETROIT -- It was the type of goal that could have haunted Corey Crawford for a long time, but instead it's now just a footnote.

The Chicago Blackhawks goaltender missed a long, fluttering shot from Detroit Red Wings center Joakim Andersson in the second period of Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Monday night at Joe Louis Arena. The goal gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead, and the Blackhawks were facing elimination by their rivals after capturing the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's top team in the regular season.

"I pretty much told myself, 'It can't get any worse,'" Crawford said.

It didn't.

Smith's strong play rewarding Red Wings' patience

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

DETROIT -- Being a first-round draft pick is an incredible accomplishment, but it also means increased expectations.

In baseball, players in the minor leagues who were first-round picks often are referred to as "bonus babies." At a college or junior-hockey game, people always are going to focus on and scrutinize the players who have "first round" next to their names in that column of the game program.

The longer it takes for a first-round choice to reach the NHL, the more fans and pundits will begin to express doubt -- unless the player was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. It is an organization that has a well-earned reputation for being patient with prospects, even overly so at times.

Brendan Smith was a first-round pick in 2007, but did not play in his first Stanley Cup Playoffs game until he was 24 years old. He's another prime example of the Red Wings letting a prospect simmer in the development phase, and then watching that player excel when the time is right.

Just like old times for Blackhawks' Seabrook

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO – Just before the opening puck dropped Saturday night at United Center, Brent Seabrook leaned past a couple of teammates on the bench and gave Duncan Keith a little motivational fist bump.

Brent Seabrook
Defense - CHI
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 1
SOG: 22 | +/-: -4

Just like that, the Chicago Blackhawks' most familiar defensive tandem was back together for the start of Game 5 in a Western Conference Semifinals that the Detroit Red Wings were trying to close out.

Instead, the Blackhawks, who entered the game trailing 3-1 in the series, earned an impressive 4-1 win. The score was identical to their Game-1 win on May 15, but the main storyline for this season-salvaging victory was the re-pairing of Seabrook and Keith, who were part of a defensive shakeup on March 31 that lasted until Saturday night.

"It's a comfortability we've had," Seabrook said of his on-ice rapport with Keith. "We’ve played together for a lot of years, a lot of games. I know where he’s going to be and he knows where I’m going to be."

Wings looking to regain momentum against Hawks

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

DETROIT -- The wild swings of emotion and perception are part of the spectacle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A team can go from title contender to also-ran in the span of three periods.

For some of the younger players on the Detroit Red Wings going through this for the first time, they might have been surprised Sunday to see what was written about them or the questions asked of them after losing Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

After winning five of six playoffs games to not only knock out the second-seeded Anaheim Ducks but also push the Presidents' Trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks to the brink, the Red Wings were quickly anointed underdog darlings in the hockey world.

Then they got whipped Saturday night at United Center and the narrative changed.

First goal of playoffs eases pressure on Toews

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews will probably address the media on Sunday afternoon before his team travels to Detroit for Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals. If not, he'll almost certainly be in front of a throng of television cameras and reporters holding microphones or recording devices near his face.

Jonathan Toews
Center - CHI
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 4
SOG: 33 | +/-: -1
He is the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, so he is expected to meet with the media and answers their questions more frequently than a typical NHL player.

When he does, whether it is Sunday or Monday or both days, the line of questions will not include, "Are you frustrated?" or "Do you feel more pressure?" That's because Toews did something he had done 167 times in the regular season and 16 times before Saturday night at United Center.

Toews scored a goal.

This one was different, because it came in the 10th game of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Blackhawks – and he had not done so in the first nine contests. It also proved to be a key insurance goal in a 4-1 victory in Game 5.

Red Wings not fazed by Game 5 loss to Blackhawks

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO – The Detroit Red Wings knew they'd see a desperate opponent on Saturday night. They got exactly what they expected.

The problem is they could only keep the score close for about half of the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-1 victory at United Center in Game 5 of a Western Conference Semifinal series that now shifts back to Detroit on Monday for Game 6 (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2).

"They were better than us tonight," said Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, who made 41 saves. "We knew it. We knew we were going to have to weather the storm early against them, and I thought we did that. We got going there, but they just kept coming and coming."

Chicago took an early lead on a goal by Bryan Bickell in the first period. After Danny Cleary tied it midway through the second period, the Blackhawks broke it open with back-to-back power-play goals to make it 3-1.

Hawks still trying to find match for Wings' third line

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- It was a shift that lasted one minute, 13 seconds and basically defined an incredible regular season for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Chicago held the puck in the Detroit Red Wings' zone on March 3 at Joe Louis Arena for almost that entire marathon shift using a combination of third and fourth liners, changing on the fly. It didn't result in a goal, but the shift swung momentum toward the Blackhawks and showed why they were such a difficult team to beat all season.

They had that "quality depth," that Chicago coach Joel Quenneville is always seeking and they could employ it at any time. Two-and-a-half months later, it feels like that shift happened decades ago. The Blackhawks are trailing their Western Conference Semifinal series 3-1 to the rival Detroit Red Wings and their third line is getting outperformed by Detroit's speedy, skilled trio of left wing Gustav Nyquist, center Joakim Andersson and right wing Damien Brunner.

Blackhawks draw on past in believing rally is possible

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have been in a similar spot before and nearly pulled off an unthinkable escape, so they don't sound intimidated by facing elimination from the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Chicago trails the rival Detroit Red Wings 3-1 in a best-of-7 Western Conference Semifinal the underdog Red Wings have seized control of with three straight wins, but the Blackhawks aren't ready to call it a season.

They're targeting a win in Game 5 Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) to force a sixth game in Detroit on Monday, and trying not to dwell on the fact an incredible season that saw them win the Presidents' Trophy is in jeopardy for the first time.

"You can't think of that," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said Friday after an optional practice. "You've got to think about winning. That's the only thing on our minds. Everything's got to be positive. You can't be thinking, 'What if?' If you have anything like that cross your mind, Detroit's too good of a team. We're not thinking about that at all."

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