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Professional

NHL: Hawks' outlook after Game 3 – hang with 'em

Blackhawks left wing Viktor Stalberg gets up after hitting the wall during the Hawks' 3-1 loss to the Red Wings on Monday in Detroit. The Wings lead the Western Conference semifinal series 2-1.
Blackhawks left wing Viktor Stalberg gets up after hitting the wall during the Hawks' 3-1 loss to the Red Wings on Monday in Detroit. The Wings lead the Western Conference semifinal series 2-1.

A stirred – if not shaken – Chicago Blackhawks team re-emerged Tuesday without much more explanation for what happened the night before: 

They played, more or less, how they wanted. And they still dropped Game 3 to the Red Wings.

If the confidence hasn’t dropped, the urgency certainly amplifies facing a 2-1 series deficit and another tilt at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday.

“It’s going to be a big difference after Game 4,” winger Marian Hossa said Tuesday. “It’s 2-2 or 3-1. That’s a huge difference.”

It’s somewhat familiar territory for the core players, who faced a 2-1 series deficit entering a road game against the Predators in 2010. Three straight wins and a run to the Stanley Cup followed.

“You throw around terms like must-win and all that – I think every game in the playoffs is a must-win,” winger Patrick Sharp said. “You can spin it however you want. Every game is huge. Being down 2-1 in their building, obviously every game is really big.”

Predictably, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville intimated little about potential lineup changes for Game 4.

“We got the juices at the level that are going to be necessary going forward,” Quenneville said. “They got our attention in Game 2. [Monday] night was the way we had to compete at.”

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