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Blackhawks beat Red Wings 6-2, keep hopes alive in West playoff race @NHLdotcom

CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks are still alive in the Western Conference playoff race - barely.

Rookie forward Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists, and Chicago beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-2 on Wednesday night to keep its slim post-season hopes alive. The Blackhawks, who won their third straight, must win their final two games to have any chance of reaching the post-season. Chicago has missed the playoffs eight of the last nine seasons.

With 86 points, Chicago is three behind eighth-place Nashville and the playoff cutoff.

The Blackhawks also would need to jump past ninth-place Vancouver and 10th-place Edmonton to make it. The Oilers also have 86 points, but they have already been eliminated because they have only one game remaining.

"It was big," Kane said "The guys jumped out and got things going. It was a great overall effort."

The Blackhawks scored three times on their first six shots in a 1:59 span early in the first period to take control and chase starting goalie Dominik Hasek. The Red Wings never closed the gap to fewer than two goals.

"We were up for it," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "We stayed disciplined, played whistle to whistle and were physical. We played a heck of a game."

Kane reclaimed the NHL rookie scoring lead, moving two points ahead of Washington's Nicklas Backstrom. Kane admitted he is shooting for the top.

"That comes in a bonus with the win," he said. "That's special. It would be big for the organization and myself, especially coming in here and not having many expectations."

Cam Barker, Jordan Hendry, Robert Lang, Dustin Byfuglien and Adam Burish also scored for the Blackhawks, who dealt the Red Wings their first regulation loss in seven games (5-1-1) and prevented them from claiming the Presidents' Trophy and the top overall seed in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

"We lacked discipline, which I can't say about our team very often," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "You've got to give them credit. They won every battle.

"They looked desperate and we looked uninterested."

Still, Detroit needs just one point in its final two games to secure home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

Henrik Zetterberg and Kirk Maltby scored for the Red Wings. Chris Osgood relieved Hasek and allowed three goals on 22 shots.

"We've just got to bounce back and get the points we need," Osgood said. "We've just got to tighten up and play smart."

Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin made 26 saves.

Barker's power-play goal opened the scoring 5:53 in. His screened shot from the left point sailed past Hasek's glove.

At 6:36, Hendry scored his first NHL goal, also through a screen, to make it 2-0. Following a faceoff, he connected from the left circle.

Lang extended Chicago's lead to 3-0 at 7:52, ripping Dave Bolland's cross-ice feed past Hasek. Osgood stepped in immediately after the goal.

Zetterberg's screened power-play goal with 5:40 left in the first cut it to 3-1.

Byfuglien's power-play score at 3:13 of the second made it 4-1. He fired in a one-timed shot from the left circle off a cross-ice pass from Kane.

Following a turnover, Maltby converted his own rebound at 6:10 to cut the Red Wings' deficit to 4-2. But Kane tipped in Duncan Keith's feed 1:29 later to make it 5-2.

Set up by Kane, Burish completed the scoring with 4:19 left.

Notes: The crowd of 21,365 was the Blackhawks' 11th home sellout of the season. ... Chicago LW Ben Eager missed his 12th game due to a shoulder injury. ... Detroit C Kris Draper sat out because of a groin injury. Red Wings RW Mikael Samuelsson missed his third, also due to a sore groin. LW Tomas Holmstrom missed his 12th because of an abdominal injury. ... Baseball Hall Of Fame shortstop Ernie Banks, who starred for the Chicago Cubs, dropped the ceremonial first puck.

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