With a Game 7 overtime win, the Blackhawks head to the West final, where they'll meet the defending champion Kings. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
Why Chicago Won: The Blackhawks beat up the Red Wings for most of the night, wearing Detroit down in general terms and winning the game specifically after a big bodycheck by David Bolland caused a turnover near the blueline. The Hawks probably should have won the game in regulation but a controversial call by Stephen Walkom sent the game to extra time when a Niklas Hjalmarsson blast was called off due to penalties occurring away from the play.
Why Detroit Lost: They blinked first. What else can be said? Detroit was a huge challenge for Chicago and dominated long stretches of the third period after tying the game. A bad line change caused Chicago's first goal, while Niklas Kronwall needed to be more aggressive on Brent Seabrook's winner.
Play of the Game: Gotta go with Seabrook's overtime winner. The wrister deflected up off of Kronwall's stick and fooled Jimmy Howard.
1. Brent Seabrook: It was a tough series for the stalwart defenseman, but Seabrook played the hero by striding into the zone early in OT and putting a smart shot past Howard.
2. Corey Crawford: Though Howard made more saves, Crawford battled a ton of traffic on the night and tracked the puck incredibly well.
3. Henrik Zetterberg: Came alive in the third period, netting Detroit's only goal on a tricky pass from Gustav Nyquist and energizing his team from then on.
What Happens Next: Chicago moves on to face the defending champs from Los Angeles with the Kings coming off their own seven-game thriller vs. San Jose. The Blackhawks learned a lot of lessons in this series and will come into the conference final wiser and battle-tested. Detroit heads into the off-season with a great little run that provided valuable experience for youngsters such as Nyquist, Brendan Smith and Damien Brunner.
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