All tied up at 1-1, the top-seed Chicago Blackhawks thought they had everything wrapped up in regulation against the rival Red Wings after defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson found the back of the net late in Game 7’s third period.
The goal, however, was negated, sending Hawks fans into a frenzy of frustration and the game itself eventually into overtime.
Thus, what had already been a helter-skelter series between two Original Six teams came down to free hockey.
It was in the extra period when the Red Wings finally blinked. Defenseman Brent Seabrook went glove side on goalie Jimmy Howard and buried the game- and series-winner nearly four minutes into overtime.
Here’s an extended video of the Blackhawks’ celebration, both on the ice and then with a peek inside the winning locker room.
Chicago moves on to face the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Finals.
[Videos via Blackhawks.NHL.com]