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NHL Chicago Blackhawks

2013 NHL Playoffs: Chicago Blackhawks Refuse to Go Down Without a Fight

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After four games with the Detroit Red Wings, the Chicago Blackhawks found themselves down 3-1 in the series. At that moment, it was hard to imagine the series going the distance. After all, Chicago won the first game, but watched as Detroit rattled off three consecutive wins. The best team in the league during the regular season was on the brink of elimination and seemed to have no answer for getting past goalie Corey Crawford. Detroit, the number seven seed out of the Western Conference, had already eliminated the number two seed Anaheim Ducks and now were looking to take out the number one seed.

Chicago had other plans, though, and apparently getting back to a Game 7 was part of it. Even with Detroit’s relentless attack in Game 6 against Crawford, Chicago was still able to pull out the victory. Crawford faced 38 shots from the Red Wings and turned aside 35 of them as Chicago won 4-3. After falling behind 2-1 in the second period, Chicago rattled off three unanswered goals on the way to the victory.

The win in Game 6 sets up another dramatic Game 7 showdown for the Red Wings. Detroit had to go seven games to take care of the Ducks in the first round and if they want to advance to the Western Conference Finals, it will again need to do so on the road. Of course, it won’t be easy to win another Game 7 on the road, but Detroit has the confidence coming in knowing it already beat the Blackhawks in Chicago once in this series. Jimmy Howard will need to be the number one star on the ice if it hopes to escape with the win.

Chicago is hoping Crawford can keep up the stellar play and make the same type of saves he did in Game 6 in Detroit. Chicago has to clean up its play in Game 7 if it hopes to advance. Game 6 saw Detroit out hit the Blackhawks 29-16. Detroit also had a 36-23 advantage in the face off circle. These are two areas that Chicago must improve on if it hopes to reach the Conference Finals. Either way, both teams know what it takes to win against each other. The question is, who will execute better and do the appropriate things necessary to get the job done?

Greg Higgins is a NHL contributor for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @greghiggins457, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.