In what turned into a thrilling overtime goal in overtime of Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals, the Chicago Blackhawks escaped defeat to secure their spot in the conference finals and a matchup with the Los Angeles Kings.
But the overtime goal that secured the victory did more than propel the Blackhawks to the conference finals. It also negated what could have been remembered as one of the most controversial calls in the history of the NHL.
With the game deadlocked at 1-1 with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson found the twine behind Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 advantage and potentially the Game 7 victory—at least that’s how it appeared.
Instead of a game-changing score, the goal was negated due to coincidental penalties at the other end of the ice. Upon review, the officials determined the play was whistled dead prior to the goal and the Blackhawks and Red Wings would go on to an overtime period that was perhaps the most exciting of the entire postseason.
The negated goal was a stroke of pure luck for Detroit—and had the Red Wings won, it would have been much more than that—but Chicago was able to come away with a 2-1 victory with a Brent Seabrook goal that got past Howard from 32 feet out just 3:35 into the overtime period.