May 26, 2013

Blackhawks survive, finally get to Howard

The Associated Press

CHICAGO - Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw scored power-play goals in the second period, and the Chicago Blackhawks avoided elimination with a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday in Game 5 of the second-round series.

Shaw added his third career playoff goal in the third as the Blackhawks stopped the Red Wings' three-game winning streak by creating chaos in front of Jimmy Howard, the former UMaine goaltender who had shut down Chicago's offense while moving Detroit to the brink of the Western finals.

With the sellout crowd chanting "Ho-ward! Ho-ward!" in an attempt to shake him, the standout goalie made 41 saves in another solid performance. But the Blackhawks created enough quality chances that he simply couldn't stop all of them.

Bryan Bickell scored the first goal of the game and Corey Crawford had 25 stops for Chicago, which managed only two goals during its first three-game losing streak of the season.

Daniel Cleary scored for the second straight game for Detroit, which will have another chance to close out the top-seeded Blackhawks in Game 6 on Monday night.

Detroit trailed 1-0 before Cleary completed a strong rush during a four-on-four stretch in the second period, beating Crawford from a tough angle for his fourth postseason goal.

Back came the Blackhawks.

First, Shaw had a perfect tip on Duncan Keith's slap shot to make it 2-1 at 13:08. Then Toews wristed a shot off Howard's facemask and into the net.

NOTES

SHARKS: Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks aren't exactly sure why home teams have been winning games in the NHL playoffs at a clip not seen in more than three decades. They just hope that trend continues for Game 6 on Sunday night when they look to stave off elimination against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and force a decisive seventh game. Then they can try to figure out how to stop it.

 

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