NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, May 27th (All times Eastern)
(1) Chicago Blackhawks (2-3) at (7) Detroit Red Wings (3-2), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks have staved off elimination once in the Western Conference semifinals and they'll try to repeat the process again on Monday when they visit the Detroit Red Wings for Game 6 at Joe Louis Arena.
On Saturday, the Blackhawks won their first tilt since Game 1 of this best-of- seven series to cut the deficit to 3-2 and set up Monday's battle in Detroit. If Chicago is able to win tonight then the two teams will meet Wednesday for a decisive Game 7 in the Windy City.
The Blackhawks, however, are just 2-4 on the road in these playoffs after losing Games 3 and 4 of this set in the Motor City. Chicago, this year's Presidents' Trophy winners, did have the league's best road record during the regular season, going 18-4-2 as the guest in 2013.
Detroit, meanwhile, is 4-1 at Joe Louis Arena in the postseason after posting a 13-7-4 mark on home ice during the regular season.
Chicago beat the Red Wings 4-1 in Saturday's Game 5, as Andrew Shaw led the way on offense with a pair of goals. Corey Crawford turned away 25 shots for the Blackhawks, who also won Game 1 of this series by a 4-1 margin.
The victory ended Chicago's worst losing streak of the season. The Blackhawks never lost three straight -- in regulation or otherwise -- at any point this season before dropping Games 2, 3 and 4 to the Red Wings.
Bryan Bickell and Jonathan Toews also scored while Duncan Keith added two assists for the Blackhawks, who went 2-for-3 on the power play to keep the series going.
"We had nothing to lose tonight because there was no tomorrow," said Bickell. "Going into the game we had a plan and really stuck to it, so we'll see where it goes from here."
Daniel Cleary had the lone goal in the loss while Jimmy Howard gave up all four goals on 45 shots for the Red Wings.
"We just weren't good enough tonight at all," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "As far as our plan and the way we have to be successful, they had way too much space to skate around and that's not the way we want to play them."
Toews, Chicago's captain, recorded his first goal of the postseason to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead late in the second period. The 25-year-old forward won the Conn Smythe Trophy when the Blackhawks ended a lengthy championship drought in 2010.
"It is a relief and a confidence builder to know that what you're doing out there will lead to something," said Toews. "I feel like that if I keep shooting the puck it will go in or force the goaltender to do something so it's a good feeling to have."
Detroit went 0-for-4 on the power play in Game 5. Chicago has killed off 35 of the 36 shorthanded situations it has faced in the playoffs
This is the 16th meeting in the postseason between these Original Six squads, with Chicago taking eight of the 15 previous matchups.
05/27 10:40:55 ET