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Playoffs Tonight: Red Wings hope to match Blackhawks’ desperation

May 27, 2013, 8:06 AM EDT

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 25: Head coach of the Detroit Red Wings Mike Babcock yells out behind the bench as assistant coach Bill Peters stands to the left in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on May 25, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks will need the full seven games to settle their differences. By the end of the night, we’ll find out if the same is true of Chicago and Detroit…

Detroit Red Wings host Chicago Blackhawks (8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra)
Detroit leads series 3-2

Detroit limited Chicago to just two goals over three games to push the Blackhawks to the brink of elimination, but Chicago clicked with its season on the line in Game 5. Brent Seabrook bounced back from his recent struggles and logged a team-high 23:20 minutes of ice time, Jonathan Toews finally ended his goal scoring slump, and the Blackhawks’ secondary scorers also stepped up in a 4-1 victory.

“They were more determined and more desperate than us,” 29-year-old defenseman Jonathan Ericsson told the Detroit Free Press, “and that showed.”

“It’s hard to match that when their backs are against the wall and ours aren’t,” Daniel Cleary added. “But that’s something we have to be ready to do Monday, play like our backs are against the wall, which I like to think that they are.”

It shouldn’t be too hard for the Red Wings to convince themselves that this game is critical. After all, if they lose, then the deciding contest will be held at the United Center, where Chicago was 18-3-3 in the regular season and is 5-1 in the playoffs.

That being said, Detroit isn’t expected to make any lineup changes for Game 6. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall appeared to hurt his shoulder during Game 5, but he’s healthy enough to play, based on a Detroit News report.

The big difference will be that Detroit has last change tonight and will therefore have an easier time matching up Henrik Zetterberg with Toews. Zetterberg has been a thorn in the Blackhawks captain’s side for much of the series.

“It’s an ongoing challenge,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville conceded to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Will Toews get on a hot streak after finally scoring a goal in Game 5? Or will Zetterberg neutralize him? The answer might play a big role in determining the outcome of this game and the series.

  1. icrew29 - May 27, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    It should make no difference if Zettenberg gets up Toews ass with the amount of death the Hawks have. Hawks can not use this as an excuse.

    • pudgalvin - May 27, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0tJGk4ofc18

      • blackhawksdynasty - May 27, 2013 at 2:57 PM

        @pudgalvin….sorry, but you get an automatic thumbs-down for posting a video. I’ll respect almost anyone’s opinion – if it’s actually their own thoughts they’re typing. Post your videos somewhere else and come back when you have something useful to add.

  2. capsrockva - May 27, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Let’s go Detroit

  3. alexbaymac - May 27, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    I find it interesting that Hockeytown (Detroit) has a much tougher time filling the seats in the Joe than Chicago (Hawkeytown) does filling the UC. As of 7 hours before tonight’s game, Stubhub has more tickets for sale ( nearly 2000) for tonight’s game, a holiday, than there are for WEDNESDAY’s ‘if needed’ game at the Madhouse! 1980 to 1850 to be precise. And the Madhouse holds more people.
    So, are there really fewer people in Detroit interested it their team than fans in Chicago? Maybe their burgers are more important than their Wings. :-D

    • davecleveland - May 27, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      Probably because we’re use to winning in Detroit so fewer people show up. Winning in Chicago is something new so everybody’s excited about the latest attraction.

      • alexbaymac - May 27, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        No I think it’s because Hawks fans show their support with their time & their wallet…instead of their mouth & their keyboard. WIn or lose.
        It just amazes me that there would be so many empty seats for a potentially series-ending game…fans either have no heart. Or no money.
        And I’m old enough to remember looooong losing streaks for both teams so…that was a pretty lame attempt to explain away something that simply has no logical explanation…other than the one above. “No heart. Or no money”.

    • jakreidler - May 27, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      There are less people in Detroit in general. Even less so with money to spend on a playoff ticket against the Hawks.

  4. dt58 - May 27, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Used to winning in Det? Maybe in hockey but does 0-16 ring a bell?

    • alexbaymac - May 27, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      And a 500 season for hockey this year isn’t exactly ‘used to winning’ either…24 out of 48. I’m actually glad they’re doing better post-season. It was very un-Wings like.

  5. wingsfan13 - May 27, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    This is all very interesting to me I thought stub hub is a re-selling website. There has been over 100 consecutive sellouts at the joe so far, good luck to all the Hawks fans tonight’s going to be a Hugh game. GO WINGS

  6. deezenucks - May 27, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    I’ve watched a bunch I Detroit games this year/playoffs and there are a surprisingly large amount of open seats, and not 2 mins into the period when people are still grabbing hot dogs. Kinda sad for hockey town USA.

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