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Seabrook provides Hawks relief, victory with triple-overtime winner

4/22/2015
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Big victory for Blackhawks

Barry Melrose breaks down the Blackhawks' triple-overtime playoff victory over the Predators.

CHICAGO -- Whenever Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook calls it a career, he will be remembered not for the amount of goals he scored but for the significance of those goals.

To quickly catch up on his storied past, Seabrook recorded the overtime winner to eliminate the Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 of the 2013 Western Conference semifinals. He scored the overtime winner to defeat the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals that same year.

In the early hours Wednesday, Seabrook added another memorable goal to his career. He drilled a one-timer from the blue line into the net one minute into the third overtime and lifted the Blackhawks to a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series.

“Anytime you can contribute and help the team, it’s huge, it’s fun, it’s exciting,” Seabrook said around 1:30 a.m. “I score eight or nine goals a year and a couple in the playoffs, but even a 50-goal scorer would be just as excited to score a big overtime goal.

“Tonight was one of those things, like it was a relief that the game was over. [I'm] excited about the win. It’s nice we’re on the good side of that.”

The difference between good and bad was that goal. If the Predators get it, the series is tied 2-2 heading back to Nashville. Instead, the Blackhawks grabbed the good and a 3-1 series lead with a chance to close out the Predators on Thursday.

“It’s big, obviously 2-2 or 3-1,” said Blackhawks forward Antoine Vermette, who scored the Blackhawks’ first goal of the night. “But with that said, we’re feeling good right now. It’s an emotional game, great win in front of our fans and everything. You don’t want to get too high or too good. You can feel good about it tonight, but there’s still plenty of work ahead of us.”

More work and more hockey weren't exactly on the minds of many of the Blackhawks after the 101-minute game. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville couldn’t remember ever being involved in a game so late. Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling was talking about getting to sleep shortly after making 50 saves in the win.

“I’m thrilled we won,” said Darling, who has played in five overtimes in his first three career playoff games. “It was an exciting game. It was a real war. They played great. It was a great ice hockey game, just a classic game. I’m a little bit tired but excited to go to bed. I’ll be fine tomorrow.”

Fluids and rest became the priority for both teams after the game, but Seabrook wasn’t so sure he’d be fine come later Wednesday.

“I’m sure [I’ll be feeling it later today],” Seabrook said. “Yeah, probably a few body parts.”

That's part of why Seabrook wasn’t exactly sure what he and his teammates were celebrating on the United Center ice after he scored in the third overtime.

“I don’t know if guys were excited I scored or excited the game was over,” Seabrook said. “It was one of those games where it was tough. Both teams are probably going to feel it in the morning. We’re happy with the outcome, and we got to move on to Game 5.”