The Chicago Blackhawks avoided elimination in the NHL playoffs with a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday in Game 5 of their second-round Western Conference series.
In the day’s other playoff game, the Boston Bruins defeated the New York Rangers 3-1 to advance to the Eastern Conference finals, where they meet the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw scored power-play goals in the second period as the Blackhawks stopped the Red Wings’ three-game winning streak by creating chaos in front of goalkeeper Jimmy Howard, who had shut down Chicago’s attack while moving Detroit to the brink of the Western Conference finals.
With the sellout crowd chanting “Howard, Howard” 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 could not stop all of them.
Bryan Bickell scored the first goal of the game and Corey Crawford had 25 stops for Chicago, who managed only two goals during their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Daniel Cleary scored for the second straight game for Detroit, who will have another chance to close out the top-seeded Blackhawks in Game 6 today. That will be at home, too, where the Red Wings are 4-1 in the post-season.
In Boston, Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots and Gregory Campbell scored twice for the Bruins, who reached the Eastern Conference finals for the second time since 1992. The other time was 2011, when the Bruins won their sixth Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Torey Krug also scored his fourth goal of the series for Boston.
Dan Girardi scored and goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves for the Rangers, who lost to New Jersey in last year’s Eastern Conference finals.
Campbell broke a 1-1 tie in the second period, then added an empty-netter with 51 seconds left after Lundqvist was pulled for an extra skater.
The Rangers fell behind 3-0 in the series, before winning Game 4 on Thursday to avoid a sweep. They took an early lead on Saturday, but could not send the series back to New York for a sixth game.