The Blackhawks and Red Wings have a rich playoff history. They met for the first time in the postseason in the 1934 Stanley Cup Finals.
Their first meeting was November 24, 1926 in both teams inaugural campaign. The Red Wings won 1-0 and it was their first win as a franchise and the Blackhawks first loss as a franchise.
The Red Wings have owned the regular season with a .559 winning percentage against the Blackhawks. Surprisingly, the Blackhawks have the postseason edge 39-35. They also own a 8-7 series edge.
1934 Stanley Cup Finals, Blackhawks Win 3-1
Their first postseason meeting was an epic four game series. The Blackhawks opened and closed the series with double overtime wins. Leading two games to one, the Blackhawks survived in game four on a Mush Marsh goal to win 1-0 and capture their first Stanley Cup.
The series was notable for Hawks goaltender Chuck Gardiner. He is still the only goalie to captain his team to a cup.
1941 Stanley Cup Semi Finals, Red Wings Win 2-0
It took seven years for these rivals to face off again in the postseason. After a 3-1 Detroit win in the opener, it took overtime again for the series clinched. The Red Wings won 2-1 to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Wings went down in the final in four straight to Boston. The Bruins had a dominant regular season in which that had a 23 game winning streak at one point.
1944 Stanley Cup Cup Semi Finals, Blackhawks win 4-1
After the teams split the first three games in the series, the Black Hawks outscored Detroit 12-3 in the last two games to win the series in win the the series in five games. They advanced to their only Stanley Cup finals in a 22 year span beginning in 1939.
They got swept by the Montreal Canadiens in the finals. The final three games of the series, the Habs only outscored the Blackhawks by four goals. This included a 5-4 Overtime win in game four.
1961 Stanley Cup Finals, Blackhawks win 4-2
This marked the second and final time the Hawks and Wings met in the Stanley Cup Finals. A fact that will be the only way the teams can meet in the postseason going forward.
Both teams pulled epic upsets in the semifinals to reach the finals. The Maple Leafs and Canadiens dominated the 1960’s and 1961 was no exception. Montreal finished the season with 92 points and Toronto 90. The Blackhawks had 75 and Detroit just 66. The Wings reached the finals despite finishing four games under .500. The Canadiens and Leafs combined to win the other nine Stanley Cups in the 1960’s.
Hall of Famers Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita made their only Stanley Cup Final appearances. Hull scored two in game one including the game winner and Mikita scored the winner in game five.
As with their 1944 semi final meeting, the Blackhawks dominated the last two games. The Hawks outscored the Red Wings 11-4 in the last two games. It would be the Blackhawks only title between 1938 and 2010.
1963 Stanley Cup Semi Finals, Red Wings 4-2
The was the first of four consecutive years they met in the semi finals. Three of those were won by Detroit.
The Blackhawks outscored Detroit 10-6 to take a 2-0 lead on home ice. They would only manage nine goals in the final four games of the series. The Red Wings scored 19 goals in the last four games to eliminate the Blackhawks.
1964 Stanley Cup Semi Finals, Red Wings 4-3
Detroit needed seven games to eliminate the Blackhawks in 1964. They once again had to come from behind in the series. The Blackhawks were unable to close out Detroit after taking a 3-2 series lead. It was also the second year in the row the Hawks lost to the Red Wings
1965 Stanley Cup Semi Finals, Blackhawks 4-3
The Blackhawks turned the tables on Detroit as they were the team that came from behind to win the series.
In the two previous seasons, the Blackhawks finished the season higher in the standings than Detroit. The Red Wings finished the 1965 season with the best record in the NHL.
Detroit won the first two games of the series in Detroit before falling in the next two in Chicago. In all, the home team won the first six games of the series. The Blackhawks won game seven 4-2 in Detroit to win the series.
1966 Stanley Cup Semi Finals, Red Wings 4-2
The Wings and Blackhawks met for the fourth year in a row in the semi finals and for the fourth year in a row the team with home ice advantage lost.
The Red Wings also made it four years in a row by coming from behind to win the series. After falling behind two games to one, the Red Wings swept the next three games to advance to their third Stanley Cup Finals in four seasons.
1970 Eastern Conference Semi Finals, Blackhawks 4-0
The Blackhawks finished the 1970 season with an NHL best 45 wins. They swept the Red Wings by identical 4-2 scores to advance to face Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals. They were swept out of the playoffs by the Bruins.
1985 Norris Division Semi Finals, Blackhawks 3-0
The NHL realigned the Divisions to make more geographical sense for the 1981-82 season.
After the teams met in the 1970 playoffs, the Red Wings entered a dark age in their franchise history. They were frequently referred to as the Dead Things. They made only two playoff appearances between the 15 year gap between meetings in the playoffs.
The Blackhawks were the Norris Division’s dominant team for the first half of the 1980’s.
They crushed Detroit in a three game sweep, outscoring them 25-8 to advance to the Norris Division finals for the third time in four years.
1987 Norris Division Semi Finals, Red Wings 4-0
In the first year of the first round best of seven, the Red Wings ousted the Blackhawks from the playoffs for the first time in 22 years. The series was closer than the four game sweep would indicate. Three of the four games were decided by one or two goals. Only a 5-1 game two Red Wings victory was a dominant performance.
1989 Norris Division Semi Finals, Blackhawks 4-2
The Blackhawks won for the fourth time in their last six postseason meetings. Their 1989 playoff run is one of the best in franchise history. The Blackhawks 66 points in the regular season was the worst of any of the 16 playoff teams by eight points.
The first five games were competitive. The Blackhawks took control of the series by winning game two 3-2 in overtime in Detroit. They returned home and won the next two games to take a 3-1 series lead. After losing game four 6-4 in Detroit, the Blackhawks returned home and closed out the series with a 7-1 victory.
1992 Norris Division Finals
This was the only time the Blackhawks and Red Wings met in the Norris Division Finals under the division playoff format. A year after winning the Presidents trophy and being upset in the first round to an upstart North Stars team, the Blackhawks recovered and advanced to the Norris Division finals.
The Blackhawks finished 11 points behind the Red Wings in the 1992 season. Detroit’s 98 points were the second best in the NHL that season. Detroit needed seven games to eliminate Minnesota and the Blackhawks ousted St. Louis in six games after trailing two games to one.
Despite the Blackhawks sweep, it was a close series. The Blackhawks won by a combined five goals.
They needed a Brent Sutter goal with 1:34 to go to close out Detroit in a 1-0 series clinching victory and give Ed Belfour his first career playoff shutout.
1995 Western Conference Finals, Red Wings
Another example of a series being much closer than its length. All of Detroit’s victories were by one goal and three of them were in overtime and two in double OT.. The Blackhawks played the President’s trophy winners tough in a labor shortened season, but couldn’t seem to get the big goal when they needed it.
The Red Wings won the series with a 2-1 double overtime victory in game five.
2009 Western Conference Finals, Detroit 4-1
Fourteen years later, the teams played an eerily similar series. Three of the five games went to overtime. Detroit won two of the three overtimes games. Darren Helm’s overtime goal ended the series in five games.