Game 7 and some: Wings want to be road warriors

The Detroit Red Wings will try to accomplish something Wednesday night
in Chicago that has happened only four times in Stanley Cup playoff
history — win a Game 7 on the road for the second time in the same
season.

It’s an imposing assignment for a team that
has several rookies playing such prominent roles.

The
Wings, the Western Conference’s No. 7 seed, overcame the odds in the
opening round for a surprising 3-2 victory at No. 2 seed Anaheim in the
seventh game.

And now they’ll try to shock the
top-seeded Blackhawks in one of the league’s rowdiest environments, the
United Center in Chicago.

Here are the four teams
that won two Game 7s on the road in the same year:

– The 2010
Montreal Canadiens, a No. 8 seed, who knocked off No. 1 seed Washington
in the opening round and No. 4 seed Pittsburgh in an Eastern Conference
semifinal.

– The 2009 Carolina Hurricanes, a No. 6 seed, who
upset No. 3 seed New Jersey in the opening round and No. 1 seed Boston
in an Eastern Conference semifinal.

– The 2009 Pittsburgh
Penguins, a No. 4 seed, who eliminated No. 2 seed Washington in an
Eastern Conference semifinal and the West’s No. 2 seed Detroit in the
Stanley Cup Finals.

– The 2003 Minnesota Wild, a No. 6 seed,
who sent home No. 3 seed Colorado in the opening round and No. 4 seed
Vancouver in a Western Conference
semifinal.
 
MORE GAME 7
FACTS

 
– In all, 18 clubs have won
more than one Game 7 in the same season (home or road), most recently
the New York Rangers a year ago.

The only team to win
three was the 2011 Boston Bruins en route to their Stanley Cup
championship.
 
– Home teams have been
winning at a higher rate overall this year, but there’s been a theory
around the league for a number of years now that home ice isn’t really
all that important, except for possibly one game – Game
7.

The home team is 92-55 in seventh games, for a
.626 winning percentage, in playoff history.

In the
opening round of these playoffs, however, the home team was only 1-2 in
the seventh game. Besides Detroit’s victory, the Rangers cruised to a
5-0 win at Washington.
 
– No club has won
more Game 7’s in NHL history than the Red Wings, who are 14-9 overall,
including 3-4 on the road. Montreal is 13-9, Boston 13-11 and Toronto
12-10. Chicago is 5-5.
 
– The Red Wings and
Blackhawks have met twice before in Game 7, but you have to go back
nearly half a century.

The Wings won at
Chicago Stadium in 1964 and Blackhawks returned the favor a year later
at Olympia Stadium in Detroit.
 
– The Wings
are 3-2 in Game 7 since coach Mike Babcock took over in 2006. The last
three have been on the road and they’ve won two of
them.
 
– No current Red Wing has played in
more of these pressure games than Pavel Datsyuk, who has four goals and
one assist in six Game 7 appearances dating back to 2002, four of them
victories.
 
– The Blackhawks are the 49th
team to force Game 7 after trailing three games to one.
The
team to do that the first 48 times is 24-24 in the deciding game.