The last time this happened, Brent Seabrook said he thought he was going to trip or fall.
It was overtime in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals, and Seabrook carried the puck deep into the Red Wings’ zone.
Seabrook, the Blackhawks’ 6-foot-3-inch, 221-pound defenseman, joked that he usually “screws up” when he has that much time with the puck.
This time, it was a split-second shot — a laser from the point through traffic. Once again it went in, and the Blackhawks mobbed the 28-year-old by the boards.
Now it’s becoming familiar.
Seabrook was the overtime hero of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday night, scoring at 9:51 of overtime to regain home-ice advantage for the Blackhawks.
It was his second overtime winner of these playoffs.
“I like shooting from that spot,” said Seabrook, who wore a lavender shirt and purple tie in the postgame news conference.
“It was a bomb,” Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford said. “He’s done that for us I don’t know how many times. That was a great shot by him.”
But Seabrook, who was stoic and perhaps exhausted in the media session — it was past midnight and the defenseman logged 25:43 of ice time — maintained modesty.
He wasn’t really aiming for the back of the net, but rather a pass to his forwards who were posted up in front.
“[Boston does] such a good job of blocking shots, getting in the way, getting in lanes,” Seabrook said. “I just tried to get it past the first guy.”
It did. But Seabrook doesn’t want to be considered Mr. Clutch.
“Everybody worked so hard tonight, everybody’s worked so hard through the playoffs, we’re all contributing,” Seabrook said. “It doesn’t matter if I score or anybody else scores, it’s nice to get the win and move on to the next day.”
It was validation for Seabrook, who was benched at times during the regular season for poor play. Entering Game 4, he was minus-3 overall for the playoffs.
On Wednesday night, he was plus-2.
This is Seabrook’s eighth season with the Blackhawks, his only NHL team.
He’s never scored more than 10 goals in a season.
In these playoffs, he has three goals in 21 games.
A point of emphasis for Chicago entering Game 4 was putting more bodies in front of the net.
“If [Tuukka Rask] sees the puck, he’s going to be almost impossible to beat,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We want to make sure we get there and make it hard on him to find it, try to go on the second and third opportunity.”
On the winning goal, that’s just what the Blackhawks did. Seabrook’s shot came from about 40 feet, and Rask appeared to be screened.
Rask said he “saw it at the last second.”
“Nice ending with traffic,” Quenneville said.
Said Seabrook: “Our forwards did a good job of getting in front and boxing out.”
Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg doesn’t know what happened.
“I was kind of left side and there was nobody in front of Seabrook,” Seidenberg said. “He just tried to stay on the short side of the post and I don’t even know where it went. I didn’t see it, so I can’t really say what happened.”
On his overtime goal against the Red Wings, Seabrook said he didn’t see the puck go in.
Now his opponents can relate. But Seabrook isn’t taking too much time to relish this goal.
“I think it’s definitely exciting to score in an overtime game, an overtime goal,” he said. “But at the end of the day it’s just a win and we still need two more, so . . . ”Emily Kaplan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at emilymkaplan.