Collars getting tighter in the West

Both series in the NHL Western Conference got tighter as the Red Wings and Sharks each got in the win column on Saturday. The Red Wings beat the Blackhawks for the 1st time in 6 games this season to even that series at 1-1. The Sharks got an OT goal to cut their deficit to 2-1 against the Kings. The Sharks are 3-0 at home this postseason and snapped the Kings 6-game winning streak.

Western Conference Semifinals

Red Wings 4, Blackhawks 1 (Series tied 1-1)

* Red Wings: first win vs Blackhawks this season (had lost all 5 previous meetings, regular season & playoffs)

* Jimmy Howard (DET): 19 saves (2nd fewest in 37 career postseason games)

* Blackhawks: Most goals allowed in a game this postseason

* Blackhawks: 1st regulation home loss since March 29. 10-0-2 in previous 12 home games (regular season & playoffs)

FROM ELIAS: The Red Wings evened their series against the Blackhawks at one win each with a 4–1 victory in Game 2. Defenseman Brendan Smith scored the game-winning goal, and fellow backliners Jakub Kindl, Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall each recorded an assist for Detroit. It was the first time that the Red Wings had four different defensemen register points in the same playoff game since 2011, when Ericsson, Kronwall, Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart all got their names in the scoring summary in Game 5 Detroit’s second-round series versus San Jose. Three other teams have had four D-men with points in one game in this year’s playoffs: the Senators (Game 3 vs. Montreal), Capitals (Game 3 vs. the Rangers) and Islanders (Game 4 vs. Pittsburgh).

Red Wings vs Blackhawks This Season

1st 5 Games Saturday

W-L-OTL 0-2-3 Won

Goals 6 4

Goals against 16 1

Save pct 90.3% 95.0%

Sharks 2, Kings 1 (Kings lead series 2-1)

* Logan Couture (SJ): Game-winning PPG (4) at 1:29 of overtime

* Sharks: 2-5 on power play in Game 3; were 0-7 with man-advantage in first 2 games of series

* Sharks: 3-0 at home this postseason

* Tyler Toffoli (LA): 1st career playoff goal (was Rookie of the Year in AHL this season)

* Kings: 6-game playoff winning streak ends

FROM ELIAS: Logan Couture scored a power play goal 1:29 into overtime to earn the Sharks a 2–1 win in Game 3 of their series against the Kings. It was the fifth overtime power play goal in the 2013 postseason, setting a new NHL record for one playoff year. There were four OT PPGs in the 1996, 2003 and 2008 playoffs. The other players to score playoff overtime power play goals this year are Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist, Washington’s Mike Green, Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz and San Jose’s Patrick Marleau.