In the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals, the Presidents’ Trophy winning Blackhawks trailed the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 in the series. After a 4-1 win at the United Center in Game 5, the Blackhawks looked to send the series to a seventh game with a win in Detroit, something they had not done earlier in the series. In Game 6 the Hawks trailed 2-1 going into the third period with their season on the line. An early goal by Handzus tied the game 2-2, and a goal by Bickell soon after suddenly gave the Hawks a 3-2 lead over Detroit. With the Wings pressing, Michael Frolik blocked a shot and went off on a breakaway where he was slashed and given a penalty shot and a chance to make it a two goal game…

Frolik’s backhander eluded Howard to give the Blackhawks a 4-2 lead in the third. The Hawks would survive a furious push by Detroit to win the Game 4-3 and send the series back to Chicago for Game 7. Of course in Game 7 Brent Seabrook’s overtime heroics sent the Blackhawks back to the conference finals, but we’ll get to that goal later.

Michael Frolik beats Jimmy Howard on a penalty shot to give the Blackhawks a 4-2 third period lead in Game 6.
Michael Frolik beats Jimmy Howard on a penalty shot to give the Blackhawks a 4-2 third period lead in Game 6.

This goal is important for a multitude of reasons. Many people (including myself) gave up on the Blackhawks when they went down 3-1 to Detroit after Game 4. They looked beaten, scared. and couldn’t get the power play going whatsoever. Once again down in the third period, and on the brink of elimination, the Hawks rose up with a three goal period to stun arch rival Detroit. The next game would be even more stunning.


The Blackhawks – Red Wings rivalry is one of the fiercest in the NHL. After the 2013 season the Wings moved over to the Eastern Conference. This series was the last time that the Hawks and Wings would get to duke it out in the West/Campbell playoffs for a very long time. The Blackhawks closed out the rivalry on top in arguably the toughest series victory from the past six seasons.

Frolik’s heroics gave the Hawks a much-needed cushion in Game 6. It also was not his first clutch penalty shot in a Blackhawks uniform either…

Frolik’s penalty shot here in 2011 in Game 6 vs. Vancouver would tie the game in the third period. Later in overtime the Blackhawks would win and send the series to a decisive Game 7 on Ben Smith’s goal.

#15 coming tomorrow…