DETROIT - Jimmy Howard kept Jonathan Toews in his misery, making three saves against the struggling star to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Thursday night in Game 4 of the second round series. The loss put the NHL's best team during the regular season on the brink of elimination.
When Howard wasn't using his glove or pads to deny Toews, Detroit's skaters were rattling him and his teammates with a physical presence that is clearly making them uncomfortable.
"They are getting frustrated," Howard said. "Our guys are doing a great job in front of the net."
Chicago's Corey Crawford did a solid job in his net, but he couldn't kick his right leg out quick enough to stop Jakub Kindl's shot on a power play midway through the second period and he was on the bench in favor of an extra skater when Daniel Cleary sealed the victory in the final minute.
After losing Game 1, seventh-seeded Detroit has surged into control by handing the Blackhawks their first three-game losing streak of the year.
Game 5 is Saturday night in Chicago.
"The pressure is on them," Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson said.
Yes, it is.
And, no one in the Windy City will want to extend the series more than Toews.
"We've got to find a way to force a Game 6," he said.
The Blackhawks desperately need their captain to score and lead after he extended his goal drought in a composure-crumbling performance.
Toews was called for three penalties in the second - two for high-sticking - and could've gone to the box a fourth time in the period for slashing Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg while an official stood between them.
"Emotions run high in some of these games, and my stick got a little loose there," he said. "I was playing hard. Sometimes that happens."
The Red Wings took advantage of the second power play Toews gave them when Kindl sent a low shot to the near corner from the top of the left circle.
"We'd like to keep him in the box," Ericsson said. "He's not as good for them in the box."
Chicago had killed its first 30 penalties of the playoffs and matched the 2001 St. Louis Blues' feat of playing eight postseason games without giving up a power-play goal, the longest such streak since 1988.
The Blackhawks had a power play with 4:45 left in the game when Kindl was called for hooking, but they couldn't tie the game.
• Kings 3, Sharks 0: In Los Angeles, Jonathan Quick made 24 saves in his seventh career playoff shutout, and the Kings moved to a 3-2 series lead and the brink of their second straight trip to the Western Conference finals.
Anze Kopitar and Slava Voynov scored, and Jeff Carter added an empty-net goal as the defending Stanley Cup champions won their 13th consecutive home game. The home team has won all five games in this series
Antti Niemi stopped 26 shots for the Sharks, who have played more than 96 minutes without a goal.
Game 6 is Sunday night at the Shark Tank.
• Patrick Roy was hired Thursday as coach and vice president of hockey operations of the Colorado Avalanche.
Roy, 47, a Hall of Fame goaltender who won two Stanley Cups with Colorado and four overall, replaces Joe Sacco as coach.