Brent Seabrook scored in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in a decisive seventh game to advance to the Western Conference finals of the National Hockey League playoffs.
The Blackhawks, who rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win the best-of-seven series, will play the defending champion Los Angeles Kings for a place in the Stanley Cup finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Boston Bruins.
Seabrook’s winning goal, his first of the playoffs, came three minutes, 35 seconds into overtime last night when his 32-foot shot bounced off the skate of Niklas Kronwall and flew past the left glove of Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard.
“I was just trying to step up,” Seabrook said in a televised interview. “The coaches have been on me all year to make good plays.”
Patrick Sharp scored early in the second period for the Blackhawks at United Center in Chicago. Henrik Zetterberg tied it 26 seconds into the third period.
A goal by Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson 1:47 before the end of the third period was disallowed because an official had called roughing penalties on Kyle Quincey of the Red Wings and Brandon Saad of the Blackhawks, who clashed in the buildup to the goal.
The conference finals pit the last four winners of the Stanley Cup against each other for the second time in NHL history.
The Penguins host the Bruins and the Kings travel to Chicago on June 1 for the opening games in the conference finals.
“It’s going to be a tough series,” Sharp said of the battle with Los Angeles. “As we look ahead to the Kings, it’s only going to get harder. They seem to do everything well.”