Unsung heroes often emerge in Game 7s. Brandon Saad is eager for that opportunity in the first Game 7 of his hockey career tonight against the Red Wings at the United Center.
The 20-year-old Saad has played well in the 2013 postseason but has yet to score. It's similar to his start in the regular season when he eventually got on track.
''Pretty similar,'' Saad said. ''It's the playoffs. It's different. But at the same time, it's about time I get one here tonight.''
Saad started the postseason on the Hawks' first line but now is on the third line with Viktor Stalberg and Andrew Shaw. He said he's anxious to get on the board.
''Yeah, it's been a battle in the playoffs,'' Saad said. ''And to break through tonight would be something special. You always want to help the team win and produce offensively. You never know what could happen.''
Saad never has played in a Game 7. But he's seen them on television. He admitted to being a little nervous entering tonight's game.
''But the last couple of games have been elimination games,'' he said. ''Even though it wasn't Game 7 you kind of take the same approach -- that the season could be over. Having gone through that, I think it helps out with playing in a Game 7.''
As best he can tell, the key is to not get caught up in the excitement of a Game 7.
''Just try to stay relaxed,'' he said. ''You can't get amped up or too excited. It's a big game. It means a lot. But you've got to come out and play just like any other night.''