Only four teams have won two Game 7's on the road in the same year. Will this year's Wings be the fifth?
By DAVE DYEFS Detroit
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.