The series that was supposed to be over five days ago has stretched into a comeback that could morph into Chicago Blackhawks history.
Down 3-1 after scoring a combined two goals in Games Two, Three, and Four, Chicago has roared back and forced a deciding Game Seven showdown against the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday night at the United Center.
Chicago last forced a Game Seven after coming back from a 3-1 deficit against the Vancouver Canucks in 2011, only to lose 2-1 in overtime. The Blackhawks would be the 25th team to recover from a 3-1 hole and win Game Seven, according to the New York Times via Elias Sports Bureau.
After Detroit’s Joakim Andersson put his team up 2-1 with less than 10 minutes left in the second period of Game Six, the Blackhawks responded with three goals in the third period to keep their season alive with a 4-3 victory.
An attack that went cold out of nowhere has come through with eight goals in Chicago’s last two games, but the source of the breakthrough has not come from Patrick Kane or Patrick Sharp.
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With much of their the usual suspects on offense shutdown by the Red Wings, fifth-year left wing Brian Bickell has scored two goals and center Andrew Shaw’s two goals in Game Five aided in Chicago’s 4-1 rout.
Veteran Marian Hossa has also notched a goal and assisted two others. Center Jonathan Toews has recorded an identical stat line in the same span, recovering the abilities that made him so dangerous earlier in the regular season.
Little of the blame for the collapse can be blamed on Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard. He posted 45 saves in Game Five and another 28 in Game Six.
Detroit also suffered 12 giveaways in Game Six, and has gone zero-for-7 with an extra man compared to Chicago, which went three-for-8 on the power play in the last two games.
The game begins at 8 p.m. Eastern and will be broadcast by NBC Sports, or watch their live online stream at NBC Live Extra here.
Betting Odds: Chicago is favored by 1.5 goals.
Over/Under: 5 goals
Prediction: Detroit 3, Chicago 2 OT