Final OT

Series (Game 6 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Thursday, October 8th
Red Wings3
Game 2: Sunday, December 20th
Red Wings0Final
Game 3: Wednesday, December 23rd
Red Wings0
Game 4: Sunday, January 17th
Red Wings3
Game 5: Sunday, March 7th
Red Wings5Final
Game 6: Sunday, April 11th
Red Wings3Final

Red Wings 3

(44-24-14, 102 pts)

Blackhawks 2

(52-22-8, 112 pts)

Coverage: NBCSN

3:00 PM ET, April 11, 2010

United Center, Chicago, Illinois

1 2 3 OT T
DET 0 1 1 13
CHI 1 0 1 02

J. Howard (Red Wings - G): Saves: 27, Save Pct.: .931

C. Fraser (Blackhawks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

P. Eaves (Red Wings - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Red Wings-Blackhawks Preview


The Chicago Blackhawks need a win in their season finale to clinch the best record in the Western Conference. They'd also love to head into the playoffs with some considerable momentum.

They can do that by earning a seventh straight victory Sunday afternoon against the visiting Detroit Red Wings.

Had Chicago (52-22-7) been tied with San Jose on points, the Blackhawks would have finished atop the conference for the first time since 1993. The Sharks, though, took a two-point lead in the standings after beating Phoenix 3-2 in shootout Saturday.

With a win over the Red Wings, Chicago gets the conference's top seed by virtue of having more wins than San Jose.

Chicago, though, is concentrating on adding to its late-season run. Until a 4-0 win in Minnesota on March 31, the Blackhawks were 5-7-2 following the Olympic break and were outscored 16-7 during a three-game losing streak to conclude that stretch.

They've bounced back to earn their six straight wins by a 25-11 margin but have also been clicking in other facets of their game. Rookie Antti Niemi has a 1.81 goals-against average while starting each game, and he's helped the Blackhawks kill off 21 of 23 penalties in eight straight starts.

In a 5-2 win in Colorado on Friday night, Chicago also snapped an 0-for-18 power-play slump as Jonathan Toews converted in the first period.

"We can use that confidence to keep getting better on the power play," Toews said. "It's going to be a big part of our game going into the playoffs."

The Blackhawks have scored at least four goals in four straight, and their fourth line has sparked that resurgence.

Center Colin Fraser has four goals in the past three games after registering two in his first 66. Wingers Ben Eager and Tomas Kopecky have six points apiece to match Toews and Kris Versteeg for the most during the win streak.

Like Chicago, Detroit (43-24-14) is looking to finish strong. The Red Wings fell to ninth in the West on March 9, but a 12-1-2 mark since then has given them an opportunity to finish as high as fifth.

Detroit has also thrived with help from a young goaltender. The 26-year-old Jimmy Howard has started all but one game since March 10 while posting a 1.89 GAA.

He recorded his second shutout in that span with Friday night's 1-0 shootout win in Columbus.

"(I'm) just being patient out there and having fun," Howard said.

Howard, though, has a 3.26 GAA against the Blackhawks this season, winning in Chicago on March 7 despite allowing four goals. The Red Wings overcame a 2-0 deficit by scoring all of their goals in the second period of a 5-4 victory, which snapped a three-game slide to their rivals.

Detroit had been shut out in its previous two regular-season games at the United Center.

In the conference finals last season, the Red Wings won 6-1 there in Game 4 before clinching a trip to the Stanley Cup finals three days later at home.