Brent Seabrook scored 3:35 into overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 2-1 Game Seven win over the Detroit Red Wings, sending Chicago to the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings.
That the game reached overtime at all was due to a preposterous call of coincidental minors, on Red Wings D Kyle Quincey and Blackhawks LW Brandon Saad with 1:49 left in the third period which forced the game to overtime. Referee Stephen Walkom blew the whistle just before Niklas Hjalmarsson buried what appeared to be the series-winning goal, even if it was difficult to see what Saad might have done to warrant being penalized in that situation.
Chicago outshot Detroit 35-27 in the deciding game, with nine Red Wings held without a shot on goal in Game Seven. One of those players was Dan Cleary, who assisted on Detroit's lone goal, giving him a team-leading five points in the series.
The possession standout of the game was Blackhawks D Duncan Keith, who also led Chicago with 26:57 time on ice.
It was a strange series, in which some of the best players in the world couldn't get loose offensively. Henrik Zetterberg scored Detroit's lone goal in Game Seven and it was his first goal of the series, despite registering a team-high 28 shots. Pavel Datsyuk was held to just two points in seven games as well.
Zetterberg led the Red Wings' scoring race with a dozen points and led all players with 58 shots on goal (as well as 23 missed shots), while Cleary finished second on the Red Wings with 10 in two rounds. After 15 points in 48 regular season games, Cleary's 10 points was a pleasant surprise.
Patrick Sharp scored Chicago's first goal, with Marian Hossa setting up the play. Both tied for the Blackhawks' team lead with five points in the series and are tied for the team lead in the playoffs with 11 points through the first two rounds.
RW Justin Abdelkader led the Red Wings with both five shots on goal and nine hits in Game Seven. He had 18 shots in the series against Chicago, but failed to register a point. Abdelkader finishes this year's playoff run tied for second with 61 hits in the postseason.
Chicago's leading shooter in Game Seven was LW Viktor Stalberg, who had six shots on goal in 10:44 of ice time. The leading hitter was overtime hero Seabrook, with six. Seabrook also played 26:13, his higest time on ice of the playoffs and his most time on ice in a game since March 1.
Blackhawks G Corey Crawford stopped 26 of 27 shots, giving him a .938 save percentage in the playoffs, ranking behind only Jonathan Quick and Tomas Vokoun. After 33 saves on 35 shots in the finale, Red Wings G Jimmy Howard finished the postseason with a .924 save percentage.
Red Wings C Valtteri Filppula left Game Seven after playing 1:28, suffering an apparent ankle injury when he got tangled up with Chicago's Andrew Shaw in front of the benches.
Detroit had their opportunities, getting out to a 3-1 lead in the series, but couldn't finish the Blackhawks. By the thinnest of margins, Game Seven OT, the Blackhawks get to take on the defending champs for the right to go to the Stanley Cup Final and the Red Wings go home.
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.