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Despite loss, Red Wings excited for Game 7

by Staff /

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, after losing two in a row, 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."

The Red Wings also faced a string of must-win games to end the regular season, winning four in a row to secure a playoff berth.

"I think everything we've gone through this year has made us stronger and better," Zetterberg said. "It's not the first time now we're going to play a Game 7. We've done it already."

Detroit almost avoided the task, building a 2-1 lead halfway through Game 6. But Chicago scored 51 seconds into the third period to tie it, took a 3-2 lead five minutes later, and added an insurance goal on a penalty shot four minutes after that.

"It doesn't feel that good right now," Zetterberg said. "We played an all right game. We were up 2-1 after two, and they scored two quick ones there at the start of the third, and then they got that penalty shot.

"The momentum went over to their side there. I think all the way up to that I think we played a good game. I think we created a lot, and unfortunately we couldn't really stay composed there at the start of the third."

They must regain that composure in order to finish an upset of the Presidents' Trophy-winning home team on Wednesday.

"I think we are looking forward to the challenge, and just have to go and play a good game," Zetterberg said.

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