Once the puck flicked off his stick and into the back of the net, Andrew Shaw wheeled and headed for the glass. The Blackhawks' winger approached with arms held high and then began pounding away, a moment of joy and catharsis and relief.

The Hawks had scored a power-play goal.

It was an artifact seemed gone forever, buried beneath 10 tons of frustration. And then came another. And then came a 4-1 victory over the Red Wings in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals Saturday night, extending the season by becoming proficient in an area that shouldn't be deficient, ever.

But it had been, at least until Shaw redirected a Duncan Keith blast and Jonathan Toews ended his playoff scoring drought on man-advantage work.

"We needed more of a presence in front of the net," Shaw said. "(Jimmy Howard's) a great goaltender. He likes to come out and challenge pucks. You keep him in the blue and there's a lot more to shoot at and opportunities for rebounds."

Through various personnel tweaks and approaches, the Hawks were having trouble scoring and the power play was more hindrance than help since a Marian Hossa goal in Game 1.

It was 12 straight power plays and 12 straight breakdowns, including a galling failure to muster even a single shot on the two sessions before the Game 5 breakthroughs.