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Can history be repeated?

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT -- Believe it not, the Red Wings have been in this current situation before.

Granted, it's been a few years.

But following their miraculous  4-3 comeback win in Sunday's Game 5 in San Jose, the Wings are far from dead with Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals set for Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.

If necessary, Game 7 will be Thursday at HP Pavilion.

This is the 23rd time in team history that the Red Wings will head into a Game 6 trailing 2-3 in a best-of-seven game series. And in order for the team to advance to the Western Conference finals this time, they will have to become just the third Wings' team ever to win three straight games after beginning a series in a 1-3 hole. The two times that it's happened were in 1987 over the Toronto Maple Leafs and 1992 against the Minnesota North Stars.

The Wings have a 10-12 overall record, 3-4 at home, when facing elimination in Game 6.

The last time the Wings won such a big game was in the conference finals against the Colorado Avalanche in 2002. No doubt, Wings fans know how that series turned out, as goalie Dominik Hasek pitched back-to-back shutout wins, 2-0 and 7-0, to advance to the Stanley Cup finals against Carolina.

This is the fifth time that the Wings and Sharks have faced in the Stanley Cup playoffs. And the first time they met the Wings needed a 7-1 win in Game 6 at JLA to force a decisive Game 7 in the 1994 Western Conference quarterfinals, also at The Joe.

Certainly, Wings' fans will remember, and probably still loathe, the name of Jamie Baker, who scored the series-winning goal against Detroit.

But if successful in their bid to make a series comeback against the Sharks, the Wings will also be joining some very exclusive company. They would be just the fourth team in NHL history to rebound from an 0-3 series deficit to win a best-of-seven playoff round. The others are the 2010 Philadephia Flyers, 1975 New York Islanders and 1942 Maple Leafs.

Follow Bill Roose on twitter: @RooseBill
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