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Playoffs Tonight: Wings, ‘Hawks division rivalry ends with Game 7

May 29, 2013, 8:14 AM EDT

DETROIT, MI - MAY 27: Henrik Zetterberg #40 and Valterri Filppula #51 of the Detroit Red Wings battle for the puck along the boards with Michal Handzus #26 and Patrick Sharp #10 of the Chicago Blackhawks during Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena on May 27, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

The defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will participate in the Western Conference finals. Tonight their opponent will be determined in a win or go home Game 7:

Chicago Blackhawks hosts Detroit Red Wings (8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra)
Series tied at 3-3

The Red Wings pushed the Blackhawks to the brink, but haven’t been able to seal the deal. After taking a 3-1 series lead, Chicago won cleanly on Saturday and came back from a 2-1 deficit in the third period.

Still, the Red Wings don’t seem demoralized going into this contest. In fact, Detroit coach Mike Babcock seems rather upbeat.

“If I would’ve told Detroit and Michigan we would play in Chicago in Game 7, I think everybody would be excited about that,” coach Mike Babcock said, according to the Detroit News. “I love Game 7s. We’ve got a chance to push them out of the playoffs. It should be a lot of fun.”

He’s right, going into this series most people didn’t just expect Chicago to win, they expected them to do it cleanly. Instead for three consecutive games the Red Wings, and goaltender Jimmy Howard in particular, did a great job of neutralizing Chicago’s potent offense.

Lately though, it’s been another story. The Blackhawks top players have begun to thaw from their cold stretches and their depth players have come up big as well. Michael Frolik, Michal Handzus and Bryan Bickell were the heroes in Chicago’s come-from-behind victory on Monday.

“You can feel it: guys want to be on the ice, they’re comfortable out there,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told CSN Chicago. “We’re excited about the opportunity. I like the way we played the last couple of games and we want to play our best game [tonight].”

With Detroit moving to the Eastern Conference next season, this Central division rivalry will end tonight. Both teams seemed pumped for what should be a thrilling close to this chapter of the game.

  1. 0ffsides - May 29, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    Lets Go Red Wings!

  2. jburrell4 - May 29, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Hard to imagine a more fitting scenario to end this rivalry. Can’t wait for the game tonight!

    • jcmeyer10 - May 29, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      My coworker is a Blackhawks fan and I feel bad for him. As a neutral observer waiting an eternity for the Bruins to play, this is what playoff hockey is all about!

  3. menapausedieting - May 29, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    LETS GO RED WINGS! YOU CAN TAKE THEM.

  4. polegojim - May 29, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    Detroits goal #1 is to make them uncomfortable again… and they can do it.

    Get BACK to that game plan!

    Go RED WINGS

    Plucked the Ducks… now scalp the Hawks.

    Great Rivalry either way… would be VERY COOL to see them VS in the Stanley Cup Finals.

  5. sprtsfan1 - May 29, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Hawks just have to keep playing their game. Hawks have more talent and more depth. Crawford just needs to stand tall again tonight. No more soft goals. Chicago is in your corner Hawks! The Madhouse will be rocking tonight! GO HAWKS!!!!

    • polegojim - May 29, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      ; ) that’s the point sprtsfan… Detroit has the ability to keep them off their game… and can do it again!

      • adambballn - May 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        Last change at home will be big tonight… Hawks need to keep Toews away from Zetterberg as much as possible.

    • redwings1977 - May 29, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      Kind of like how the “Madhouse” was rocking in previous games, right? I’ve been in libraries that were louder. It’s pretty pitiful when the loudest the crowd gets all game is for the national anthem. Suck it Hawks!

  6. LampyB - May 29, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    So excited for the game tonight, it’s going to be HOT!!! GO WINGS

  7. xtrememachine1 - May 29, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Last time these two play against one another in the postseason without the Cup being on the line. Let’s go Wings!

  8. slapinski1 - May 29, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Watching this series, it’s a toss up. Gonna cheer on my boys all the way though. Go wings.

  9. indianhead1992 - May 29, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    What a series for these 2 teams, yes I hate the Wings but I respect that franchise very much. They revolutionized the game by making it a possesion game that the Hawks have adopted and perfected like the Wings of the late 90′s on. Cant wait for tonight its a game for the ages that every hockey fan is excited about. Good luck Wings in the East it was a pleasure playing with you guys for so many years, show the East how to play real hockey!
    GO HAWKS!!!

  10. ken49ers - May 29, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    You can bet your life savings that Chicago will have the first PP, and it won’t take long.

    Hey Gary, if you’re gonna rig your league try not to make it look so obvious.

    • indianhead1992 - May 29, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      What are you talking about? I hope this is not the mindset of most wings fans. I thought their fans were smarter than that?!?!

      • michiganhockey11 - May 29, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        Toews started the ref complaining after game 2 for the record……

      • ken49ers - May 29, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        As Wings fans, we’ve seen the stripes hose us plenty of times. Most Hawks fans don’t know this, but hockey DID in fact exist prior to 2010. Anyone who can’t see the obvious league agenda to get Pittsburgh and Chicago to play in the finals is naive and dumb. Maybe the Hawks will even bust out a “flying V” tonight, ya know, just to add to the realism.

      • mikewiz64 - May 29, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        We are… That’s a dumb comment. Go Wings!

    • blackhawksdynasty - May 29, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      As of now, it’s 8 hrs til puck drop…..yet the conspiracy theorists and “blame the ref” excuses are coming out already

  11. hammerhead5573 - May 29, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Sitting here at work, i think i’m gonna “ship” my pants if this day doesn’t end soon. Great series and i don’t suspect that will change tonight.

  12. sprtsfan1 - May 29, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    A bunch of Wings fans were chirping about “last change” before game six and how important it was to secure a win for them. Obviously “last change” didn’t mean much in game six and I don’t think it will make a big difference in game 7. It’s a nice advantage but not as big of an advantage as everyone says it is. If the Hawks play their game, they’ll win.

  13. hammerhead5573 - May 29, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    @ken49er if i were you i would watch wherever you go… There are helicopters everywhere searching for only you. Its only a conspiracy if the team u are pulling loses. Were you saying anything legit when shaw was called for being in the crease? i seriously hope you are that dumb…..are you? Never mind i know the answer

    • ken49ers - May 29, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      The team I root for isn’t a media darling. When they were in their prime all you heard about was how awful the ratings were for the game. The 4 letter network even pulled away their rights to it. Suddenly the favorite sports markets are having their way after a half season lockout. Just seems fishy to me.

  14. michiganhockey11 - May 29, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Considering this is the last time they will play each other in conference, I am glad it went all 7 games. Nobody expected this from the Wings at all. Glad to see there are respectful Chicago fans out there. This was an awesome rivalry. Wings have proven they can win at the United Center. GO WINGS

    • mikewiz64 - May 29, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      Yep… Chicago may well have been the better team coming in to this but the Wings stepped up an made this series a fitting end to the rivalry regardless of the outcome tonight. What more can any fan on either side have asked for? I know what I’m asking for…. One more win from the Wings. ;)

  15. hammerhead5573 - May 29, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Ooh and your welcome for the joe selling out every time the hawks visit. And not near that when they not in town. It appears some wings fans also didnt know hockey existed before 2010. You do realize the best way to tell management to get their act together is by not paying for a crappy product. Of course you do judging by the attendance at the joe. Sorry bro your bandwagon implications are meaningless

    • redwings1977 - May 29, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      Hey dumbass, the Joe has been sold out for over 100 straight games. Sure, there are quite a few empty seats, but those seats have been paid for.

      • michiganhockey11 - May 29, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        I was just about to say the same thing. 100 consecutive sellouts and how many times did they play each other in Detroit over the past 100 games? So….I guess they don’t need to bring in Chicago fans to sell the place out. Funny, last game I went to I met a group of Chicago fans that really knew the game and respected it. We had a great time giving each other grief all game. You’re doing neither by running your mouth. Better be careful, or Coach Bombay will make you do sprints.

      • hammerhead5573 - May 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        Which speaks volumes when you purchase a ticket and don’t even go to the game. You can call it a sell out all you want, but when the actual attendance is not sold out, it’s obviously not sold out. I have watched plenty of their games this year and I saw that place half empty. Idiot.

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