The Detroit Red Wings put the Chicago Blackhawks in an unfamiliar spot and New York Rangers coach John Tortorella had a special request for the media in the top NHL stories from Thursday:
1. This is foreign territory for the Chicago Blackhawks. The Presidents' Trophy winners hadn't lost three straight games this season until now. The Detroit Red Wings stifled the Blackhawks with a 2-0 victory in Game 4 for a 3-1 series stranglehold. In the second period, frustrated Chicago captain Jonathan Toews was called for three penalties as Red Wings defenceman Jakub Kindl capitalized on one of them to open the scoring. Forward Dan Cleary added the empty-netter and goalie Jimmy Howard continued to shine with 27 saves for the shutout. Will Detroit finish off the upset in Game 5? Find out on Saturday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET).
2. Current and former NHLers criticized New York Rangers coach John Tortorella for sitting Brad Richards in Game 4 against the Boston Bruins. Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean also weighed in on the benching. But after the Rangers pulled off a 4-3 overtime win to dodge a sweep, the outspoken bench boss defended his struggling star. "This is a Conn Smyth winner, a guy I have grown up with, a guy that I love as a person and a player. Kiss my [butt] if you want to write something different." Tortorella had also called out Carl Hagelin earlier in the series, but the forward made the scoresheet in the second period with the help of an uncharacteristic "Tuukka tumble."
3. After dropping two straight 2-1 contests to the San Jose Sharks, the Los Angeles Kings regained the upper hand in the series with a 3-0 Game 5 win. It was the 13th consecutive home win for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who have a chance to sink the Sharks before the week is over.
4. Senators captain Daniel Aflredsson was more pessimistic than pesky after Ottawa's Game 4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. But CBCSports.ca's Tim Wharnsby writes that you can never count out Sens coach Paul MacLean as his team faces elimination on Friday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).