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Red Wings rally past Blackhawks to level series

Detroit Red Wings' Brendan Smith (C) celebrates his goal with teammate Henrik Zetterberg as Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp (L) skates pas
Detroit Red Wings' Brendan Smith (C) celebrates his goal with teammate Henrik Zetterberg as Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp (L) skates pas

(Reuters) - The Detroit Red Wings spotted the Chicago Blackhawks an early lead then struck for four unanswered goals to claim a 4-1 win on Saturday and even their Western Conference semi-final at a game each.

The best-of-seven series now shifts to Detroit for two games with Game Three set for Monday at Joe Louis Arena.

Jimmy Howard was rock solid in the Detroit net, facing 20 shots, and the Red Wings scored twice in each of the second and third periods after surrendering a first period goal to Chicago's Patrick Kane.

Damien Brunner, with his fourth of the post-season and Brendan Smith both beat Corey Crawford in the second as Detroit seized control of the contest 2-1.

"I thought we played really well tonight, we did a lot of good things, getting pucks deep and pressuring their D (defense) and just making better decisions with the puck," said Smith. "It's a team win, the whole team played a lot better.

"The competition level just bumps up so much more from the regular season. The speed and competition level is so much higher."

Detroit kept up the pressure in the third period, Johan Franzen beating Crawford on the short side with a placed shot before Valtteri Filppula completed the scoring with a nifty backhand.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, editing by Gene Cherry)

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