Detroit Red Wings right wing Patrick Eaves (17) celebrates scoring a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs in Detroit, Monday, May 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Monday, May 27, 2013 11:29 pm
Blackhawks beat Red Wings 4-3, force a Game 7
By LARRY LAGEAP Hockey Writer
Bryan Bickell had the go-ahead score early in the third and NHL's top-seeded team earned a shot to advance to the Western Conference finals after trailing the second round-series 3-1 and beginning the third period of Game 6 down by a goal.
"We're doing the right things to score goals and we're confident when we get those chances that they're going to go in somehow," Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said. "We've got that momentum, we want to keep it."
The Blackhawks began the third down by one and were up by two goals midway through the period after an offensive flurry. They needed the cushion because Damien Brunner scored with 52 seconds left to pull Detroit within one.
The Red Wings pulled their goaltender, but they were unable to score with the extra skater.
Detroit carried a 2-1 lead into the third but Michal Handzus tied it in the opening minute of the final period. Bickell scored about 5 minutes later. Michael Frolik's backhander on a penalty shot at the 9:43 mark put the Blackhawks ahead 4-2 and silenced the once-raucous crowd.
The Blackhawks will have the fans on their side Wednesday night in Game 7 against seventh-seeded Detroit.
"If I would've told Detroit and Michigan we would play in Chicago in Game 7, I think everybody would be excited about that," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I love Game 7s.
"We've got a chance to push them out of the playoffs. It should be a lot of fun."
Frolik became first player in league history to score two goals on penalty shots in the playoffs. He also did it two years ago against Vancouver.
"I was kind of surprised that I was the first one in history," he said. "It's a little bit special."
Chicago's Corey Crawford made 35 saves and Jimmy Howard stopped 24 shots for the Red Wings.
The Blackhawks sent the series back to Detroit with a 4-1 victory in Game 5 on Saturday night, and then jumped in front on Marian Hossa's goal in the first. But Patrick Eaves tied the game later in the period and Joakim Andersson put the Red Wings up 2-1 with a long wrister 10:11 into the second period.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville made the first tactical move by starting Toews and taking him off the ice soon after the puck dropped to get him away from Henrik Zetterberg.
When the Blackhawks went ahead 1-0 on a power play, both captains were on the ice.
Toews won the first faceoff against Zetterberg after the penalty was called, and ended up with an assist on Hossa's goalmouth scramble 3:53 into the game.
Eaves, who revived his career during the lockout-delayed season after having a concussion, scored for the first time this postseason off a rebound 18:51 into the first.
Detroit put Chicago on the power play twice in the first 3:32 of the second - once for having too many men on the ice - and Howard had to make just three saves while the Red Wings were short-handed early in the second.
The Red Wings went ahead for the first time when Anderson had the puck, which was on edge above the left circle, and flicked a wrist shot that fluttered so much Crawford couldn't handle it.
Chicago got to the front of the net in the third period and it paid off.
Handzus was basically by himself when he scored 51 seconds into the third against a helpless Howard. Bickell wouldn't let Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith move him away from Howard before he scored the winning goal, leading to Howard taking Smith's stick and throwing it into the corner.
Frolik got a penalty try when he had a breakaway after blocking Carlo Colaiacovo's shot and was hacked by him from behind. He took advantage by scoring easily on Howard's glove side.
"I was surprised they called a penalty shot," Colaiacovo said.
Howard was too, screaming at an official while the Blackhawks celebrated their comeback that was made possible by supporting players.
"There's not a lot of room out there for top guys," Quenneville said. "We don't care who scores. We're all about being a team and contributing any way you can."
NOTES: Quenneville earned his 79th playoff win to break a tie with Babcock for the most by an active coach and move past Pat Burns and into 8th place on the league's all-time list. ... The Blackhawks are 5-0 when they score on a power play this postseason and Detroit is 2-6 when it allows a power-play goal. ... Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Brandon Inge attended the game after playing against his former team, the Tigers, at nearby Comerica Park and was wearing a Jordin Tootoo Red Wings jersey.