DETROIT - Any person who is brave enough to wear a Chicago jersey is getting a healthy dose of boos from the Red Wings fans.
It seems to be a nervous energy here tonight. One fan told me its 'do or die tonight.'
If the Wings lose, they don't see them winning at Chicago in game 7.
But they also said they think they're about to see the red wings come out with energy and set the tone early. Should be a good one.
The top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks took the first step toward making a comeback from a 3-1 deficit in their Western Conference second-round matchup with the seventh-seeded Detroit Red Wings. The Presidents' Trophy winners attempt to continue their climb and even the series when the Original Six rivals meet at Joe Louis Arena for Game 6 on Monday. Chicago posted a 4-1 victory in Game 1 before its offense went silent, scoring a total of two goals in three consecutive losses.
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Detroit squandered a chance to advance to the conference final and gain some much-needed rest as it suffered its second 4-1 loss of the series in Game 5 on Saturday. Andrew Shaw scored a pair of goals and captain Jonathan Toews netted his first of the playoffs for the Blackhawks, who entered the third period leading by two but didn't let up as they outshot the Red Wings 17-4 in the session. The good news for the Red Wings is that defenseman Niklas Kronwall is expected to play after sitting out the second half of the third period on Saturday following a crushing check by Chicago's Bryan Bickell.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS: Toews feels as if a weight has been lifted off his shoulders now that he has that first playoff goal under his belt. The center had seven tallies in each of his first two postseasons but has scored only four times in 23 games over the last three playoff years. "It's just nice to see one go in," Toews said. "You work so hard for so many games, not only for yourself but your linemates, the guys that are out there with you. It builds your confidence." Although Chicago entered the playoffs as the favorite in the West to reach the Stanley Cup final, Shaw believes the Blackhawks now are playing with house money. "The pressure's on (the Red Wings) to eliminate us; they have our backs against the wall," he said. "Everyone thinks that Detroit's going to take the series. The pressure's off us." Bickell scored the first goal of the game on Saturday, firing the puck into the net so hard, it broke the goal cam. "Hopefully, I don't get billed for it," he joked.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS: Kronwall sacrificed his own body to save teammate Henrik Zetterberg, who would have been targeted by Bickell had the defenseman passed the puck to the captain a few seconds earlier. "I saw (Bickell) coming. I just tried to hold on to the puck as long as I could before I gave it to Hank, so that guy couldn't jump Hank," Kronwall told the Detroit News. Despite allowing four goals, Jimmy Howard was Detroit's best player in Game 5 as he turned aside 41 shots. Howard knows his team needs to put forth a better effort in order to avoid a seventh game in Chicago. "They were better than us (Saturday)," Howard told the News. "(Game 6) is in our building, we better be fired up to play." Dan Cleary, who scored the lone goal for the Red Wings, agreed. "We have to be ready to go Monday night as if our backs are against the wall," he said. "Which I like to think they are."
1. Chicago was 4-for-4 on the penalty kill Saturday and is 35-for-36 overall this postseason.
2. The Red Wings have won eight consecutive home playoff games against the Blackhawks.
3. Detroit has outscored Chicago 11-10 through five contests despite being outshot 175-134.
Stats and Records
|5/25/13||DET 1||CHI 4||45||25||2-3||26||41||0-4|