They fell into each other’s arms when the final horn sounded, a grueling series — mentally taxing, emotionally draining, physically exhausting — finally behind them, an uncertain offseason delayed, a crushing failure staved off in character-defining fashion. After seven tense games, after facing three elimination games, after celebrating the apparent game-winning goal only to see it disallowed in the final minutes of regulation, it was finally over. The Blackhawks finally had won. Brent Seabrook’s goal from the slot, which deflected of Niklas Kronwall’s stick at 3:35 of overtime, sealed an unforgettable 2-1 victory.

OK, now. Halfway there.

Funny thing about apocalyptic, earth-stopping showdowns. It’s only the apocalypse for the loser. The earth keeps spinning for the winner. And by booting the Detroit Red Wings off to the Eastern Conference with a wild win in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinal on Wednesday night, the Hawks reached only the midway point in their quest to hoist the Stanley Cup.

Up next: The Los Angeles Kings, a fast, physical and skilled team with a red-hot goalie in Jonathan Quick and the experience of winning it all last season. The Hawks go right back to work on Saturday, for a late-afternoon Game 1 matinee at the United Center. No rest for the weary. And no rest wanted.

It took a little longer than expected. Niklas Hjlamarsson’s apparent go-ahead goal with 1:47 to go in the third period was waved off — the third Hawks goal to be disallowed in the series — because officials ruled the whistle had blown an instant earlier for matching penalties to Brandon Saad and Kyle Quincey. The 22,103 in attendance roared with glee, then roared with anger after the realization hit that the goal didn’t count.

It was that kind of night for those in attendance, who drowned out Jim Cornelison’s national anthem with a sustained roar, then settled into a nervous tension throughout a high-paced first period that saw both teams generate chances, but fail to convert. It was looser and faster than the series has been, but both goalies — the Hawks’ Corey Crawford and the Red Wings’ Jimmy Howard — were sharp early and often.