DETROIT - The Chicago Blackhawks extended their season for at least one more game, scoring three goals in the first half of the third period to beat the Detroit Red Wings, 4-3, in Game 6 of their second-round series last night.
Bryan Bickell had the go-ahead score early in the third and the NHL's top-seeded team earned a shot to advance to the Western Conference finals after trailing the second round-series by 3-1 and beginning the third period of Game 6 down by a goal.
"We're doing the right things to score goals and we're confident when we get those chances that they're going to go in somehow," Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said. "We've got that momentum, we want to keep it."
The Blackhawks began the third down by one but were up by 4-2 midway through the period after an offensive flurry. They needed the cushion because Damien Brunner scored with 52 seconds left to pull Detroit within one. The Red Wings pulled their goaltender, but they were unable to score with the extra skater.
Detroit carried a 2-1 lead into the third but Michal Handzus tied it in the opening minute of the final period. Bickell scored about 5 minutes later. Michael Frolik's backhander on a penalty shot at the 9:43 mark put the Blackhawks ahead 4-2 and silenced the once-raucous crowd.
The Blackhawks will have the fans on their side tomorrow night in Game 7 against seventh-seeded Detroit.
"If I would have told Detroit and Michigan we would play in Chicago in Game 7, I think everybody would be excited about that," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I love Game 7s.
"We've got a chance to push them out of the playoffs. It should be a lot of fun."
Frolik became first player in league history to score two goals on penalty shots in the playoffs. He also did it 2 years ago against Vancouver.
"I was kind of surprised that I was the first one in history," he said. "It's a little bit special."
Chicago's Corey Crawford made 35 saves and Jimmy Howard stopped 24 shots for the Red Wings.
The Blackhawks sent the series back to Detroit with a 4-1 victory in Game 5 on Saturday night, and then jumped in front on Marian Hossa's goal in the first. But Patrick Eaves tied the game later in the period and Joakim Andersson put the Red Wings up 2-1 with a long wrister 10:11 into the second period.
Chicago got to the front of the net in the third period and it paid off.
Handzus was basically by himself when he scored 51 seconds into the third against a helpless Howard. Bickell wouldn't let Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith move him away from Howard before he scored the winning goal, leading to Howard taking Smith's stick and throwing it into the corner.
Frolik got a penalty try when he had a breakaway after blocking Carlo Colaiacovo's shot and was hacked by him from behind. He took advantage by scoring easily on Howard's glove side.
"I was surprised they called a penalty shot," Colaiacovo said.
Howard was too, screaming at an official while the Blackhawks celebrated their comeback that was made possible by supporting players.