UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks had a wonderful regular season, finishing first overall after setting an NHL record by going their first 24 games without a regulation loss. None of that will mean much if they don't win their next three games.
The top-seeded Blackhawks trail No. 7 Detroit 3-1 in the Western Conference semifinals after Jimmy Howard turned back 28 shots in the Red Wings' 2-0 win over Chicago. Howard made half of his saves in the first period, but Corey Crawford was just as stingy until Jakub Kindl (YAH'-kuhb KIN'-dul) beat him midway through the game.
Howard needed to stop just six shots in the third period despite facing two power plays, one coming with 4:43 remaining and Detroit clinging to a 1-0 lead.
Daniel Cleary iced the victory by scoring into an empty net with 39 seconds remaining.
The Red Wings can advance to the conference finals by winning Saturday in Chicago, where the Blackhawks will try to end their season-worst three-game losing streak.
There was also a shutout in Los Angeles as Jonathan Quick handled 24 shots to lead the Kings past San Jose 3-0. The Kings own a three-games-to-two lead in the Western Conference semifinals following Quick's sixth shutout since the last year's playoffs.
Neither team scored until Anze Kopitar (AHN'-zhay KOH'-pih-tahr) beat Antti Niemi (AN'-tee nee-EH'-mee) with 1:52 left in the second period. Sergei Voynov added an early third-period tally before Jeff Carter poked in an empty-netter.
Niemi made 26 saves for the Sharks, who host Game 6 on Saturday.
The Boston Bruins were unable to complete a four-game sweep of the Rangers in the Eastern Conference finals.
New York is still alive after Chris Kreider (KRY'-dur) scored at 7:03 of overtime to lift the Blueshirts past the Bruins 4-3. The Rangers erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits before Kreider notched his first goal of the postseason.
The Bruins were looking pretty good after Nathan Horton and Torey Krug (kroog) scored 3:02 apart to give them a two-goal lead at the 7:49 mark of the second period. Derek Stepan (STEP'-ahn) eventually tied it 75 seconds into the third period and set up Brian Boyle's goal with 10 minutes left in regulation.
Henrik Lundqvist turned back 37 shots for the Rangers, who head to Boston for Game 5 on Saturday.