Game 4 is 'huge' for Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks don't need to be reminded the importance of Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.

If the Blackhawks win, they regain home-ice advantage and even the series at 2-2. If they lose, the series leans heavily in the Red Wings' favor. Of the 229 past best-of-seven series, only 20 times, an 8.7 percentage, has a team come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the series.

"You throw around terms like must win and all that," Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said on Tuesday. "I think every game in the playoffs is a must-win. You can spin every game however you want. Every game is huge. You want to win every time you take the ice. Being down 2-1 in their building, obviously that game, Game 4, is really big."

Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa said, "It's going to be huge. It's going to be a big difference after Game 4. It's going to be 2-2 or 3-1. That's a huge difference. We know what's in the stakes here. I thought we did lots and lots of good things in Game 3, but they still somehow found a way to be better than us. Game 4, we have to be better than them."

The Blackhawks are in a rare position compared to the rest of their season. They were the league's premier team for nearly the entire season and went 36-7-5 in the regular season. They lost back-to-back regulation games twice all season and never experienced a three-game losing streak.

While their current adversity is something different to this season's team, Hossa said it isn't affecting them in a negative way.

"I don't think anyone is panicking," Hossa said. "We're facing an extremely good team. They're playing the best hockey [of their] season, I believe. We still have a lot of confidence going into Game 4. Just play our game."

A number of Blackhawks do know what it's like be down 2-1 in a series and fight back. In 2010, the Blackhawks trailed the Nashville Predators 2-1 in their conference quarterfinal series before rallying to win the series 4-2.

Sharp believes he and some of the team's veterans could utilize that experience, but he didn't want to draw too many comparisons.

"You want to take your past experiences as an individual player, as a team, but I'm not really worried about 2010," Sharp said. "This team has been together for almost two full seasons now, and we've been through a lot of different situations and responded well. I've got confidence in our group that we can find a way to get things done."