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Pleased with play, Hawks frustrated by loss

5/24/2013
Hawks goalie Corey Crawford stopped 25 of 26 shots against the Red Wings on Thursday. Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith likely summed up what his entire team was feeling after they dropped a third consecutive game to the Detroit Red Wings in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series on Thursday.

"We're working," Keith said. "I don't know. It's frustrating. I don't really know what to say right now. … I don't really know. You look at it. We competed. Obviously, it's still not good enough. We're going to find a way to get more."

The Blackhawks were mostly in shock following Thursday's 2-0 Game 4 loss. They took full blame for not playing well enough in the Game 2 loss, but they felt everything was in place in Game 3 and again in Game 4 to knock off the Red Wings.

It just didn't happen.

Up and down the checklist, the Blackhawks thought they accomplished what they had set out to do on Thursday. Goaltender Corey Crawford was at the top of his game, stopping 25 of 26 shots. The Blackhawks created plenty of quality chances for the second consecutive game and finished with 28 shots on net. The penalty kill allowed a goal, but it was the first one in 31 chances this postseason. To further frustrate the Blackhawks, the numbers of posts and crossbars they've connected with in the past few games has nearly reached double digits.

"Everyone's a little [ticked] off," Crawford said. "I thought we played well again. It just seems like we're not getting bounces. I think we had three off the post and out, and they had one off the post and in. It just pretty much sums it up the last couple games for us."

Luck might have something to do with some of the Blackhawks' lack of offense lately -- they've scored two goals in the last three games and were shut out for the first time this season on Thursday -- but their power play has struggled consistently enough throughout the season to where it can't avoid some criticism. The Blackhawks went 0-for-3 on power-play chances on Thursday and now are 1-for-12 on the power play in the series.

"It's not working," Keith said.

Forward Patrick Sharp believes they need to find a way to get more shots on goal on the power play. They had just one on Thursday.

"Yeah, we're not getting enough pucks to the net," Sharp said. "We can look at it over the next couple of days, but we have to find a way to get [better]. It's as simple as that. We've got to find a way to sustain some momentum and get some pucks to the net. Raise our intensity level. We've got to outwork their four guys and right now we're not doing that and not coming up with a whole lot on the power play."

Down 3-1 in the series, the Blackhawks realize the odds of coming back to win are now firmly against them. Despite that, they still plan on fighting.

"At this point, we got nothing to lose," captain Jonathan Toews said. "You've got to lay it all out there. We're doing our best. We're doing that. Eventually something's got to give. We're too good of a team. We have too much talent. As hard as we're working, something's got to go our way. We're going to be positive until it does."

"There's no use hanging our heads," Sharp said. "Our backs are against the wall. We have to play our best game in Chicago (on Saturday for Game 5). There's no other options. We can dig in here. We can find a way. For each other, for our team, for our city and find a way to get it done."