Chicago on brink of being ousted
Detroit • Jimmy Howard kept Jonathan Toews in his misery, making three saves against the struggling star to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Thursday night in Game 4 of the second round series to put the NHL's best team during the regular season on the brink of elimination.
When Howard wasn't using his glove or pads to deny Toews, Detroit's skaters were rattling him and his teammates with a physical presence that is clearly making them uncomfortable.
"They are getting frustrated," Howard said. "Our guys are doing a great job in front of the net."
Chicago's Corey Crawford did a solid job in his net, but he couldn't kick his right leg out quick enough to stop Jakub Kindl's shot on a power play midway through the second period and he was on the bench in favor of an extra skater when Daniel Cleary sealed the victory in the final minute.
After losing Game 1, seventh-seeded Detroit has surged into control by handing the Blackhawks their first three-game losing streak of the year.
Game 5 is Saturday night in Chicago.
"The pressure is on them," Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson said.
Yes, it is.
And, no one in the Windy City will want to extend the series more than Toews.
"We've got to find a way to force a Game 6," he said.
The Blackhawks desperately need their captain to score and lead after he extended his goal drought in a composure-crumbling performance.
Toews was called for three penalties in the second two for high-sticking and could've gone to the box a fourth time in the period for slashing Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg while an official stood between them.
"Emotions run high in some of these games, and my stick got a little loose there," he said. "I was playing hard. Sometimes that happens."
Rangers 4, Bruins 3 (OT) • In New York, Chris Kreider steered in a pass from Rick Nash 7:03 into overtime, and New York stayed alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a victory over Boston.
New York, which erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits in the critical Game 4 matchup in the Eastern Conference semifinals, still trails the series 3-1. The Rangers will need to win again on Saturday in Boston to force a Game 6 back in Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers, who were outshot 40-32, won a faceoff deep in their zone, and Nash rushed the puck up ice. He stopped above the right circle and fed a hard pass in front that Kreider skated into and tipped past goalie Tuukka Rask for his first goal of the playoffs.
Kreider, who made his NHL debut in last year's playoffs, has six career postseason goals in just 25 games.
Kings 3, Sharks 0 • In Los Angeles, Jonathan Quick made 24 saves in his seventh career playoff shutout, and Los Angeles moved to the brink of its second straight trip to the Western Conference finals with a victory over San Jose in Game 5.
Anze Kopitar and Slava Voynov scored, and Jeff Carter added an empty-net goal.
• N.Y. Rangers 4, Boston 3 (OT)
Bruins lead series 3-1
• Detroit 2, Chicago 0
Red Wings lead series 3-1
• Los Angeles 3, San Jose 0
Kings lead series 3-2
• Ottawa at Pittsburgh, 5:30 p.m., NBCSN
Penguins lead series 3-1