Jimmy Howard kept Jonathan Toews in his misery, making three saves against the struggling star to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago...

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DETROIT — Jimmy Howard kept Jonathan Toews in his misery, making three saves against the struggling star to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Thursday night in Game 4 of the second round series.

The win puts the NHL’s best team during the regular season on the brink of elimination.

When Howard wasn’t using his glove or pads to deny Toews, Detroit’s skaters were rattling him and his teammates with a physical presence that is clearly making them uncomfortable.

“They are getting frustrated,” Howard said. “Our guys are doing a great job in front of the net.”

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Chicago’s Corey Crawford did a solid job in his net, but he couldn’t kick his right leg out quick enough to stop Jakub Kindl’s shot on a power play midway through the second period. Crawford was on the bench in favor of an extra skater when Daniel Cleary sealed the victory in the final minute.

After losing Game 1, seventh-seeded Detroit has surged into control by handing the Blackhawks their first three-game losing streak of the year. Game 5 is Saturday night in Chicago.

“The pressure is on them,” Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson said.

Yes, it is. And no one in the Windy City will want to extend the series more than Toews.

“We’ve got to find a way to force a Game 6,” he said.

Other games

At Kings 3, Sharks

Jonathan Quick made 24 saves in his seventh career playoff shutout as Los Angeles moved to the brink of its second straight trip to the Western Conference finals.

Anze Kopitar and Slava Voynov scored, and Jeff Carter added an empty-net goal as the defending Stanley Cup champions won their 13th consecutive home game in dominant fashion.

L.A. leads the series 3-2, and Game 6 is Sunday night in San Jose.

At Rangers 4, Bruins 3 (OT)

Chris Kreider steered in a pass from Rick Nash 7:03 into overtime and New York stayed alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a victory over Boston.

New York, which erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits in the critical Game 4 matchup in the Eastern Conference semifinals, still trails the series 3-1. The Rangers will need to win again Saturday in Boston to force a Game 6 back in Madison Square Garden.

Derek Stepan and Brian Boyle scored tying goals in the third period for the Rangers. Carl Hagelin netted New York’s first goal of the game in the second period.

Boston got second-period goals from Nathan Horton and rising star Torey Krug. Tyler Seguin’s first of the playoffs put the Bruins back on top 3-2 in the third.


• The Colorado Avalanche hired Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy as head coach. He also will serve as vice president of hockey operations. Roy will join forces with Joe Sakic, who was recently promoted to executive vice president of hockey operations. The Avalanche won two Stanley Cups when they were teammates.

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