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RED WINGS at BLACKHAWKS
(Detroit leads best-of-7, 3-1)
TV: NBC, CBC, RDS
Big story: There are no more second chances for the Chicago Blackhawks. They either win and extend the series or go home for the summer with the sting of major disappointment following a season when they won the Presidents' Trophy with 77 points in 48 games.
Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard has been outstanding in net ever since dropping Game 1, a 4-1 Chicago victory, and the defense in front of him continues to slow the Blackhawks.
Red Wings: Detroit keeps building confidence with every Chicago shot that doesn't go in the net, whether it's stopped by Howard or clangs off metal. The Red Wings also have also won the faceoff battle in every game of this series, which is one of the details that's looming as a large factor, especially when the margins were as close as the past two games at Joe Louis Arena.
Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are leading the way in draws, and Joakim Andersson and Cory Emmerton are getting the job done on the third and fourth lines. After winning three games in a row, the Red Wings hope to end this series before the Blackhawks can get even a little wind back in their sails.
"We know that they're a desperate team," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I’d like to think that we’ll be desperate as well. You want to be as prepared as the opportunity is important and we have to play that hard.”
Blackhawks: They've tried changing the personnel at least a couple of times, but Chicago's power play is still a major problem area. It's gone from a nagging problem for almost the entire second half of the regular season to a concern in the Western Conference Quarterfinals to a major reason they're facing potential elimination after five games.
Chicago is 1-for-12 (8.3 percent) on the man-advantage in this series and 3-for-25 (12 percent) in nine Stanley Cup Playoffs games. That's on top of struggling against Detroit's defense and Howard in 5-on-5 play, leading to a combined two goals in the past three games, none for captain Jonathan Toews in the postseason.
"We all take the burden for being down 3-1," Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook said. "We all win as a group and we lose as a group. Just because one guy isn't scoring doesn't mean he's going to win the game or lose the game for us. It takes a team effort and we all have to pick our socks up here."
Who's hot: Howard recorded his second career playoff shutout in Game 4 and through his past six games holds a 5-1 record with a 1.67 goals-against average and .950 save percentage.
Injury report: Red Wings forward Mikael Samuelsson (upper body) is day-to-day. Third-line center Darren Helm (back) and rookie defenseman Danny DeKeyser (fractured hand) are out for the series.