- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have owned the Detroit Red Wings over the past two seasons, but it's not something the Blackhawks find relevant as they enter a second-round playoff series with Detroit.
The Blackhawks swept all four games against the Red Wings this season and hold a seven-game winning streak over them dating back to last season.
"No, [it does not matter] at all," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said after Monday's practice. "We said the same thing about playing the Minnesota Wild [in the first round.] It doesn't really matter what happens during the regular season. You saw that in that series. [The Red Wings] just came off a tough seven-game series where they beat a really good [Anaheim Ducks] team. They're obviously playing really well. We have to be ready for that."
While the Blackhawks won all four regular season games this year, all but one were decided by a single goal. The Blackhawks won 2-1 in overtime in Chicago on Jan. 27; 2-1 in a shootout in Detroit on March 3; 7-1 in Detroit on March 31; and 3-2 in a shootout in Chicago on April 12.
Their game on March 3 was arguably one of the most exciting in the NHL all season. The Red Wings broke a scoreless tie with an early third-period goal by Tomas Tatar, and the Blackhawks' Patrick Kane tied it up with 2:02 remaining. Kane was the only player to score in the shootout, and the Blackhawks pulled out a 2-1 win, which extended their points streak to 22 games to begin the season.
"You look at every game this year, discounting the one game, every game was a close game, tight games and anything could have happened," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We were fortunate the one game to tie it up late, but probably the best game and most exciting game we were riding all year was the game in Detroit which was an amazing game. But we expect that kind of pace throughout the playoffs here."
The Blackhawks have also taken notice of how the Red Wings appear to be playing at a different level in recent weeks. Detroit won its final four regular season games to secure a playoff spot and then upset the No. 2-seeded Ducks in seven games to advance to the second round.
"They had a great stretch to get into the playoffs," Quenneville said. "They had to make some hay there in the end to get in, and they did it. Coming back from Game 6 and 7 down and having to win both games shows what they're capable of and their top guys were special. I think that's something we'll have to be aware of as well as we go along.
"But their tradition, they know how to win, they find ways to bring the best out of their team. But again, I'm talking, I'm worried about our team and how we have to approach it. Let's make sure we're going to be at their best."