The Blackhawks game seven showdown with the Kings marks the 12th time that the Blackhawks will play in a game seven. They are 6-5 in their previous 11. They have a 5-2 record at home in game 7's, including their last four in a row.
The Kings return to the United Center after failing to close out the series in the last two games. This will be their third straight series playing a game seven. In the previous two, they were the team that came from behind to win the series. They trailed 3-0 in the first round against San Jose before coming back to win and then were down 3-2 to Anaheim in the second.
No matter what happens Sunday, history will be made. The Blackhawks already made history in the last two games. They became the first team ever to come from behind in the third period of consecutive games facing elimination.
The Kings will attempt to become the first team to win three game sevens in the same postseason. They are already the third team to play in three game sevens in the same postseason. Toronto did it 1993 and the 2002 Avalanche. Both teams lost in the conference final. Ironically the Leafs lost in 1993 at home to the Kings. Wayne Gretzky's hat trick led L.A. to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance.
A Kings win would give coach Darryl Sutter his seventh victory in the penultimate game of a series. That would set an NHL record.
The Blackhawks are seeking to become the first team in NHL history to come back from a 3-1 deficit in consecutive postseasons. If they can accomplish that, they would also be the second team to accomplish it in the conference final. The 2000 Devils came back to defeat the Flyers and then the Avalanche to win the Stanley Cup.
The Blackhawks game seven history goes back to the Original Six era.
1952 Semifinals lost at Montreal 4-1
After losing the first two games of the series, the Blackhawks returned to the Chicago stadium and evened the series. They won game five at the Montreal Forum 4-2 before the Canadiens outoscored the Blackhawks 7-1 in the final two games to capture the series.
1964 Semifinals lost 4-2 to Detroit
The 1964 Blackhawks faced a similiar fate to the 1952 Hawks. The Blackhawks took a 3-2 series lead after game 5. They were unable to close out the series in a 7-2 loss in game six at Detroit. Unlike 1952, the Blackhawks had home ice for game seven.
Despite out shooting the Wings 35-19, the lost 4-2 to fall to 0-2 in game sevens.
1965 Semifinals won 4-2 over Detroit
The Blackhawks would get their revenge on the Red Wings a year later. The Hawks rallied to win the series after trailing three games to two. They shutout the Redwings 4-0 in game six at the Chicago stadium. They returned to Detroit to eliminate the Redwings 4-2 in game seven.
1965 Stanley Cup Final lost 4-0 at Montreal
The Canadiens scored all four of their goals in the first period and won despite being outshot 31-20. The home team won every game in the series. It was the Blackhawks third trip to the Stanley Cup finals in five seasons and their second loss.
1971 Semifinals won 4-2 over N.Y. Rangers
After the Blackhawks failed to close out the Rangers in a triple overtime loss in game six at Madison Square Garden, the Blackhawks returned home for game seven. Bobby Hull scored the go ahead goal in the third period and Tony Esposito made 36 saves to send the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup finals versus Montreal.
1971 Stanley Cup Final lost 3-2 to Montreal
The Blackhawks had 2-0 leads in the series and in game seven. The Blackhawks appeared poised to capture their fourth Stanley Cup with the lead in the second period. Esposito allowed a 70 foot goal in the fog to the Canadiens Jacques Lemaire shortly after Bobby Hull had hit the post to get Montreal on the board.
Henri Richard scored the tying goal later in the second period and had the game winner with 2:34 left in the third to deny the Blackhawks. It would be Hull's last game in Chicago, he left for the upstart World Hockey association after the season.
1984 Division Semifinal lost 4-1 to Minnesota
This was actually a penultimate game five. The NHL didn't go to a seven game first round series until 1987. The North Stars took control with two goals in the first period to take 2-0 lead after one. They outshot the Blackhawks 33-11 through the first two periods and won the Norris Division postseason to match their regular season title.
1990 Division Semifinal Beat Minnesota 5-2
After trailing 1-0 after one period, Wayne Presley and Jeremy Roenick scored twice in the second to give the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead. Both players scored their own goals less than two minutes apart with Presley's tying the game and giving the Blackhawks the lead.
1990 Division Final Beat St. Louis 8-2
The Blackhawks trounced the Blues to earn the postseason Norris title after winning the regular season title. Roenick scored twice in the first period and they continued the onslaught with three goals in each of the last two periods. The Blackhawks advanced to the Campbell Conference final for the second year in row and the fifth time in nine years. They would go on to lose to Edmonton for the third time.
1995 Conference Quarterfinals Blackhawks 5 Toronto 2
Their first playoff series in the United Center went to a game seven. After a three goal third period comeback in game six fell short in overtime, the Blackhawks seized control in game seven at home. They extended a one goal lead after two with three third period goals. They won their first playoff series since their run to the 1992 cup finals.
2011 Conference Quarterfinals Lost 2-1 at Vancouver (OT)
This first round matchup was the defending champion Blackhawks against the President's Trophy Canucks. The Blackhawks came back from a 3-0 series deficit to force game seven at Vancouver. A Jonathan Toews short handed goal with 1:56 left in regulation sent the game to overtime.
After a Blackhawks turnover, Alexandre Burrough scored 5:22 into overtime to end the Blackhawks season.
2013 Conference Semifinals Won 2-1 (OT)
The game went to overtime after a Niklas Hjalmarsson goal was disallowed late in regulation. The Blackhawks had forced a game seven after trailing three games to one.
Brent Seabrook picked up a loose puck after a Dave Bolland check along the board forced a turnover and scored the game winner 3:35 into overtime to send the Blackhawks to the conference finals for the third time in five years.
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