CHICAGO -- Everything that had ailed the Chicago Blackhawks in their previous three games -- a poor power play, their depth players getting outplayed, the frustration of their captain -- suddenly were no longer visible Saturday night.
The result was a comprehensive 4-1 victory against the rival Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals, one that earned the Presidents' Trophy-winning Blackhawks the right to play Monday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
Andrew Shaw scored twice and Jonathan Toews netted his first of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Blackhawks cut the Red Wings' lead in the best-of-7 series to 3-2.
"It was a great effort by everyone," Shaw said. "It's a team win. Everyone competed and everyone battled and we played desperate hockey and that's what we need to do from here on out.
"We didn't want a great season like this to end like this. We came out hard in the first and created momentum through the game and we just took off with it."
Chicago's power play came to life in the second period, and helped the Blackhawks extend what had been a one-goal lead to two.
Detroit's Daniel Cleary had tied the contest 1-1 with his fourth goal of the postseason at 9:37 of the second. Chicago goalie Corey Crawford directed a Henrik Zetterberg shot toward the corner to his right, but Cleary was able to put a rebound shot from a tight angle off Crawford's leg and in.
But the Blackhawks regained the lead at 13:08 with their first power-play goal since Marian Hossa scored in the first period of Game 1 on their first extra-man chance of the series. Detroit had killed off 15 straight Chicago power plays, but Shaw deflected a point shot from Duncan Keith into the net for his first goal and point of the series.
Chicago had several great chances on the power play, in part because Pavel Datsyuk was without a stick, and the Blackhawks were able to keep the puck in the zone for 65 seconds before the goal with the Red Wings effectively playing with only 3 1/2 penalty-killers.
"Great shift on the first goal," Chicago forward Patrick Sharp said. "We were out there about a minute and a half. We were moving the puck and shooting. Those are the things we talk about and they applied it out there. [Shaw]'s first goal on the power play was huge for us. He was taking a beating in front. He probably got knocked down four or five times and he still had energy left to celebrate after he scored."
So much has been written about the offensive struggles of Toews; he finally broke through at 15:47 with his first of the playoffs.
Just as the Blackhawks had been able to keep the puck in the zone at the blue line a couple of times before Shaw's goal, Keith made a great play to stop a clearing attempt after his point shot. He sent the puck to Hossa, who faked a shot and slipped the puck to Toews near the goal line to the left of Jimmy Howard. Toews put a shot off Howard and under the crossbar to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead.
"I thought at that point the game was over," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "They had the puck the rest of the night and we didn't do anything. We weren't good enough tonight at all as far as our plan or what we have to do to be successful. There was too much space and [the Blackhawks] were freewheeling it around and having fun. It just goes to show you how hard it is to win and you've got to compete and do things right if you want to be successful."
Shaw made it a 4-1 game with his second of the night at 6:58 of the third period. Chicago controlled the play early in the third despite Detroit needing a rally, and eventually Viktor Stalberg put a shot off the end boards from the high slot. Shaw was skating behind the net; he was there to collect it and tuck the puck behind Howard, who had come out to challenge Stalberg's attempt.
It was Shaw's second multiple-goal game of his career -- the first came March 18, 2012, against the Washington Capitals.
"He plays with that energy you appreciate," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "He's a competitive kid. He finds that line. He's smart in a lot of ways. You love the tenacity that he brings, the willingness to travel to the front of the net and hang around and he's got a quick stick. He's got some offensive skills and he's got good instincts on both sides of the puck."
Chicago's Bryan Bickell had the lone goal of the first period. After Michal Handzus dislodged the puck from Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, Bickell put the first shot on Howard and Patrick Kane the second. The rebound kicked to Howard's left and Bickell was there to rip a shot off the goal camera inside the net. It was Bickell's fourth goal of the postseason. Chicago has had trouble finding second-chance opportunities in this series, let alone third ones.
"There a team over there that's not going to roll over on you and let us have it," Detroit defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo said. "They came out with more of a determined effort in the first period, and it seemed that we weren't sharp with our passes, with our breakouts. We were giving them every opportunity, losing puck battles. I think in the second period we played more of our game, then we got into penalty trouble and their power play got two quick ones there. In the third period we tried to open it up a little bit, but we just got into more of a back-and-forth game -- something that we don't want to get ourselves into with a team like this."
This game looked pretty similar to Chicago's 4-1 victory in Game 1. The Blackhawks controlled the play after an even first period in that one, but it took longer to solve Howard.
Detroit gave Chicago its first three-game losing streak of the season, when the Red Wings claimed Game 2 with a 4-1 win and then swept the two contests at Joe Louis Arena. Howard was dazzling, stopping 86 of 88 shots in the three wins, including all 28 in a 2-0 shutout in Game 4.
When the Blackhawks needed a big effort in Game 5, they got one from a lot of guys, especially their stars. Chicago's top four forwards -- Toews, Sharp, Hossa and Patrick Kane -- combined for 17 shots on net, and the reunited top defense pairing of Keith and Brent Seabrook combined for 11 more.
The Red Wings entire team had only 26. Those six guys finished the night with a goal and five assists, and they controlled the game the way they are expected to.
"We played like it was the last game of our season. We got two more like that," Seabrook said. "We've got to focus on ... Monday night. Get ready to rock and roll. We've got to play with that desperation and that intensity."