On Detroit’s Game Four History


In today’s pregame, I included a “Stupid Stat of the Day” about Detroit’s Game Four record after winning Game One and losing Games Two and Three. Specifically, that the Red Wings are 5-3 all-time in Game Four after following that pattern in the first three games.

On Twitter I sensationalized it a bit more, cherry-picking the fact that only one of those Game Fours happened at Joe Louis Arena and was a loss to say…

The resulting discussion got me to dive into this a bit further and there were some interesting things.

March 26, 1949
A 3-1 Detroit win in Montreal ties up the series and the Red Wings go on to win in seven games before getting swept by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup Finals.

March 31, 1953
Detroit drops a 6-2 decision in Boston. The Wings would win Game Five back home but the Bruins would finish off the series in Game Six.

March 29, 1960
The Red Wings get a 2-1 overtime win at Olympia over the Maple Leafs to make the series 2-2. Toronto wins the next two games to finish the matchup.

May 11, 1987
A 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in the Campbell Conference Finals puts the Red Wings down 3-1. The Oilers would win Game Five in Edmonton to wrap things up.

April 9, 1989
The Chicago Blackhawks take a 3-2 win and a 3-1 series lead in the Norris Division Semifinals. Detroit would win Game Five back at home before a Chicago blowout in Game Six finished things.

April 28, 1998
In a Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup, the Red Wings win Game Four in Phoenix. They take the next two games against the Coyotes to advance, going on to win the Stanley Cup that year.

April 27, 2006
The Red Wings win Game Four of their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup with the Oilers in Edmonton. The Oilers take the next two games, though, to complete the upset.

May 7, 2009
Detroit earns a big 6-3 win on the road to even their Western Conference Semifinal series with the Anaheim Ducks. Detroit would end up winning the series in seven games, eventually being knocked out in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Five wins, three losses.

Unsurprisingly, those three losses led to a loss in the series, as they put Detroit down 3-1 and unable to come back. Two of the times the Red Wings managed to win Game Five to force a sixth game but none of those series reached seven.

Of the five wins, Detroit ended up losing the series anyway twice, both times in three games.

The three times they won Game Four and went on to win the series? They went to the Stanley Cup Finals those years.


Clark founded the site that would become DetroitHockey.Net in September of 1996 with no idea what it would lead to. He continues to write for the site and executes the site's design and development.

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