Five things to watch in Game 5

May, 25, 2013
5/25/13
2:09
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Here are five things to watch for between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series Saturday:

1. First scorer: The team that has scored the first goal has won three of the series’ first four games. The only exception was Game 2, when the Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead and the Red Wings responded with four consecutive goals. The second period has also been vital in the series. The Red Wings have outscored the Blackhawks 5-0 in the second period.

2. Superstar line: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is desperate to score and appears to be combining his big guns to get that done in Game 5. Quenneville put together Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp on a line in Saturday’s morning skate. Kane and Toews tied for a team-leading 23 goals in the regular season, and Sharp has scored a team-best six goals in the playoffs. The trio didn’t play together much this season, but they have in the past.

3. Power-play difference: The Red Wings scored their first power-play goal of the series in Game 4, and it decided the game. Look for special teams to potentially make the difference again in Game 5. The Blackhawks haven’t scored a power-play goal since the first period of Game 1 and have been shut out on their past 11 chances. The Red Wings are 1-for-15 on the power play in the series.

4. Toews factor: Toews has yet to score in nine playoff games. He also went through a nine-game scoring drought in the 2009 playoffs. In the 10th game in 2009, he broke out with two goals and an assist to help eliminate the Vancouver Canucks.

5. Faceoff edge: The Red Wings have continued to beat the Blackhawks in the circle. The Red Wings have won the faceoff battle in each game and are 131-112 for the series. Toews was the only Blackhawk to win more faceoffs than he lost in Game 4.
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Sharp
PTS GOALS AST +/-
78 34 44 13
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Sharp 34
AssistsD. Keith 55
+/-M. Hossa 28
GAAC. Crawford 2.26