Blackhawks win Game 7 to reach West final

The Blackhawks rush to the boards and begin celebrating a 2-1 Game 7 overtime victory that puts them in the West final.

MCT

The Blackhawks rush to the boards and begin celebrating a 2-1 Game 7 overtime victory that puts them in the West final.

CHICAGO — Brent Seabrook sent a wrist shot past goalie Jimmy Howard's glove 3:35 into overtime to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 victory over the Red Wings in Game 7 of their second-round playoff series on Wednesday.

The Blackhawks, who had the best record in the NHL regular season, rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to reach the Western Conference final against the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings.

For the first time since 1945 and the second time in NHL history, the final four teams remaining in the playoffs — Pittsburgh plays Boston in the East final — are the four most recent Stanley Cup winners. Chicago captured the Cup in 2010.

Seabrook picked up a loose puck and skated in on Howard through the middle of the ice, with Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall in front of him. His shot hit Kronwall's leg before it sailed into the left side of the net for the defenseman's first goal of the postseason.

"I don't know if I saw it go in to be honest," Seabrook said. "I just heard the horn going and the boys jumping out. It was a pretty exhausting game, but I think I was more tired during the celebration with guys jumping and pushing me in the face and dragging me down. It's exciting. You don't get to do that too many times."

The sellout crowd of 22,103 roared as Seabrook was mobbed by his teammates.

Howard put his arm around Kronwall, who was down on one knee, and tried to console him.

It was quite a change from the end of the third period, when the Blackhawks thought they had scored the go-ahead goal. But it was waved off with less than 2 minutes remaining by referee Stephen Walkom, who called a pair of penalties behind the play.

Patrick Sharp had given Chicago a 1-0 lead in the second period.

Henrik Zetterberg tied it in the third for No. 7 Detroit, which beat second-seeded Anaheim in seven games in the first round. Howard finished with 33 saves.

Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk was held without a point, closing out an ineffective series for the Russian star.

The Blackhawks' Corey Crawford finished with 26 saves.

Chicago made it to the conference finals for the first time since it won the title three years ago and will host Los Angeles in Game 1 on Saturday. The Kings advanced with a 2-1 victory over San Jose in Game 7 late Tuesday.

The Blackhawks became the 25th team to win a series after trailing 3-1, and it was the first time in franchise history Chicago has made such a comeback.

The Blackhawks celebrated wildly when Niklas Hjalmarsson blasted a slap shot by Howard with 1:47 left in regulation.

But Chicago forward Brandon Saad and Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey got tangled up in front of the Red Wings bench. Walkom stopped play to give roughing penalties to both.

Blackhawks 0 1 0 1 2
Red Wings 0 0 1 0 1

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesKeith, Chi (tripping), 5:20; Andersson, Det (interference), 9:22; Emmerton, Det (interference), 18:16.

Second Period1, Chicago, Sharp 7 (Hossa, Handzus), 1:08. PenaltiesShaw, Chi (interference), 6:03; Abdelkader, Det (tripping), 9:09.

Third Period2, Detroit, Zetterberg 4 (Nyquist, Cleary), :26. PenaltiesEricsson, Det (hooking), 6:07; Quincey, Det (roughing), 18:11; Saad, Chi (roughing), 18:11. First Overtime3, Chicago, Seabrook 1 (Bolland), 3:35. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalDetroit 11-6-9-1—27. Chicago 13-11-9-2—35. Power-play opportunitiesDetroit 0 of 2; Chicago 0 of 4. GoaliesDetroit, Howard 7-7-0 (35 shots-33 saves). Chicago, Crawford 8-4-0 (27-26). A22,103. T2:52.

Blackhawks win Game 7 to reach West final

05/29/13 [Last modified: Thursday, May 30, 2013 1:24am]

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