05/30/2013 03:48 EDT | Updated 07/29/2013 05:12 EDT

Stanley Cup Stories: Blackhawks overcome controversial call

A thrilling Game 7 closed the final chapter of a longtime Western Conference rivalry between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings in the top NHL playoff stories from Wednesday:

1. It took another intermission and an extra 3-½ minutes, but defenceman Brent Seabrook finally sealed Chicago's trip to the Western Conference final. Niklas Hjalmarsson thought he had the Blackhawks' tie-breaker against the Detroit Red Wings late in regulation, but his goal was disallowed by referee Stephen Walkom. Seabrook eventually clinched the series 2-1 in overtime and let Walkom off the hook. Fans criticized the call while Red Wings players reacted to letting a 3-1 series lead slip away. Game 7 would be the last time the two Original Six rivals would meet in the West semifinal, as realignment moves Detroit to the Eastern Conference next season. With all the third-round matchups now in place, Chicago hosts the defending champion Los Angeles Kings as Hockey Night in Canada picks up the series starting with Game 4 on Thursday June 6 (CBC,, 9 p.m. ET).

2. In the East, senior hockey writer Tim Wharnsby predicts Pittsburgh and Boston will also go the distance, with the Penguins topping the Bruins (safe to say John Tortorella might root against the Bruins?). The series kicks off with Game 1 on Saturday night (CBC,, 8 p.m. ET). Fans also get a chance to zero in on a specific player every period throughout the series at

3. The San Jose Sharks suffered another disappointing end to their season Tuesday as the Los Angeles Kings edged their California rival in Game 7. The Sharks experienced a familiar, heartbreaking exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs, which Kings goalie Jonathan Quick is using to knock on history's door.