By John Vogl
Chicago thought it was moving on to the Western Conference finals when Niklas Hjalmarsson broke a 1-1 tie with 1:49 remaining Wednesday. But referee Stephen Walkom waved off the goal because of a scuffle away from the play, and the Red Wings bounced toward overtime while Chicago and its fans cursed their luck.
"At the end of the day, there's nothing you can do but move on," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. "You're going to overtime and it was no goal, so you can't just sit around and feel sorry. There's still a game, there's still overtime and still somebody's got to score another goal to win it. There was no panic. We just moved on from it."
Indeed, the Blackhawks won Game Seven anyway when Brent Seabrook bounced a shot off the leg of Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall with 3:35 gone in the extra session.
The victory saved Walkom from going down in referee/umpire infamy. (For Walkom defenders: Had Hjalmarsson's goal counted, would anyone be saying, "Oh, man, Detroit got robbed because they didn't blow the whistle during a scoring chance because of a scrum 100 feet away from the net"?)
Chicago will face Los Angeles in the Western Conference finals, while Boston will take on Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference. It's the first time since 1945 that the past four Stanley Cup champions are the last four teams remaining.
Saturday 5 p.m. Los Angeles at Chicago NBCSN, TSN
Sunday 8 p.m. Los Angeles at Chicago NBCSN, TSN
Tuesday 9 p.m. Chicago at Los Angeles NBCSN, TSN
Next Thursday 9 p.m. Chicago at Los Angeles NBCSN, CBC
*Saturday, June 8 8 p.m. Los Angeles at Chicago NBC, CBC
*Monday, June 10 9 p.m. Chicago at Los Angeles NBCSN, CBC
*Wednesday, June 12 TBD Los Angeles at Chicago NBCSN, CBC
Saturday 8 p.m. Boston at Pittsburgh NBC, CBC
Monday 8 p.m. Boston at Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC
Next Wednesday 8 p.m. Pittsburgh at Boston NBCSN, CBC
Friday, June 7 8 p.m. Pittsburgh at Boston NBCSN, CBC
*Sunday, June 9 8 p.m. Boston at Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC
*Tuesday, June 11 TBD Pittsburgh at Boston NBCSN, CBC
*Wednesday, June 12 TBD Boston at Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC