Updated: June 13, 2013 7:14PM
The Blackhawks will have to stay up late Sunday to find out whom they’ll face in the Western Conference semifinals.
The Detroit Red Wings beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 in overtime Friday night to force a Game 7, which won’t start until 9 p.m. Central time Sunday. If the seventh-seeded Red Wings win, they’ll face the Hawks. If the Ducks win, the Hawks will face the sixth-seeded San Jose Sharks, who swept the Vancouver Canucks. The series could start as early as Tuesday at the United Center.
Both potential opponents bring plenty of story lines. The Sharks have former Hawks Antti Niemi, Martin Havlat and Adam Burish (though Burish is likely out for the series with a hand injury), as well as Evanston native Tommy Wingels. There’s also the long-simmering captains’ feud between Jonathan Toews and Joe Thornton. Then there’s Raffi Torres, a trade-deadline acquisition from Phoenix. Torres’ illegal hit last spring gave Marian Hossa a severe concussion.
And if it’s the Wings? What better way to end one of the best divisional rivalries in hockey history? The two Original Six franchises will be in different conferences next year as the Red Wings head to the East.