The first period started with everyone flying on both sides. The Detroit Red Wings received the first powerplay when Duncan Keith tripped up Justin Abdelkader. The Red Wings did everything but score in the 2 minutes especially when Danny Cleary had a lot of the net empty but couldn’t get it past Corey Crawford. Crawford was very good during the powerplay including at least three big saves. If there was something to worry about with Crawford going forward is he was giving up big rebounds. The Hawks went to the man advantage when Joakim Andersson interfered with Andrew Shaw, but the Hawks were up to their old tricks with a pretty weak powerplay. Viktor Stalberg was up next to draw a penalty and even though the Hawks second powerplay was more productive it still was not succesful and it ended the period with no score.
The second period started very quickly for the Hawks on a stretch pass that finally clicked for the Hawks from Niklas Hjalmarsson that hit Michal Handzus and Marian Hossa and in the end Patrick Sharp‘s stick for the first goal of the game. The Hawks were a much faster team until Andrew Shaw took a bad interference penalty when it appeared that Stalberg would be in the Wings zone on an odd man rush. The Hawks were able to kill the penalty with their normal great penalty killers Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger. The Hawks had their next powerplay and this is the best way to sum up the two minutes at the United Center.
There are good power plays, there are bad power plays, and then there’s whatever the Blackhawks just did. I think they lost a shot on goal.
— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) May 30, 2013
The Wings controlled the puck more than the Hawks would have liked but with the stellar play of Corey Crawford the horn sounded and the Hawks skated with a 1-0 lead heading to the third period.
The third period started out very ominous almost eerily like Game #6 in Detroit where the road team was able to equalize the game very early in the third period when Henrik Zetterberg dumped the puck into a wide open net with Corey Crawford almost frozen in time. What was a very loud United Center went almost completely quiet. The Red Wings went on to own the next 10 minutes of play but also like Game #6 Crawford after a bad goal came up huge for the Hawks the rest of the way for the third period. Though shots were even at 9 for the third it felt like the Red Wings owned it for most of the play. The Hawks did have a powerplay in the middle of the period that helped even out the momentum some. The Hawks did have a big push with four minutes left in the third which led to Brandon Saad winning the puck before getting slammed into the Red Wings bench and while a nifty pass found Hjalmarsson who buried it past Jimmy Howard the back official Stephen Walkom blew the play dead for the hit on Saad. While Cheslea Dagger was blaring the goal was getting waved off. The crowd went nuts and your social media timeline whether it was Facebook or Twitter was on fire!!! A truly top 5 worst playoff calls of all-time and with less than 2 minutes left the Hawks would have to re-group. The Wings had some good chances in the final minute but the horn sounded and Game 7 was heading to overtime even though everyone with a pulse could tell the game should have been over already.
The average time for Game 7 overtimes is 8:52 but this one would only last 3:35 after a huge hit by Dave Bolland ,who was pretty disappointing for the whole series, the puck made it to Brent Seabrook who skated in and threw a wrister that glanced off Niklas Kronwall‘s leg and found the back of the net behind Jimmy Howard and Game 7 was finally a victory for the Blackhawks 2-1. I’ve watched it a dozen times at least, but here is the OT winner followed by the series ending handshakes.
-The Hawks completed only the 21st NHL comeback all-time down 3-1 in 230 attempts, and the first every by the Blackhawks (NHL.com)
-Joel Quenneville is now 2-3 all-time in Game 7′s and the first time his team has scored 2 goals in Game 7.
-Mike Babcock is now 11-4 head to head against Joel Quenneville after the series loss.
-This was the first Game 7 OT win in Blackhawks team history
-The final four teams left in the playoffs are the last four Stanley Cup Champions only the 2nd time in history this has occurred.
- Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals is Saturday at 4pm at the United Center!!
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