They did it in six, and the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup for the second time in just four seasons, winning the series 4-2. They grabbed the final victory away at Boston’s TD Garden, crushing the dreams of every Bruins fan in the sold out crowd.
It appeared the Bruins had done just enough to force a Game 7 in Chicago, leading the game 2-1 late into the third period, but the Blackhawks, particularly Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland, had different ideas.
It was the Bruins that opened the scoring on Monday night, and so there was good reason to believe that the Bruins could indeed cause a Game 7. Tyler Seguin received a pass from Daniel Paille, controlling it long enough to backhand into the middle to find Chris Kelly who beat Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford after about seven minutes of play.
Kelly exploited Crawford’s glove side, which has been his weakness throughout the 2013 playoffs. Another point of interest in the first period was that each team had a player injured. The Bruins’ Jaromir Jagr left with an unknown injury while the Blackhawks’ Andrew Shaw deflected a slap shot off his own face, falling to the ground and leaving a good bit of his blood on the ice when he skated off the ice and towards the locker room.
The Bruins played well defensively for the rest of the period and retained the 1-0 lead going into the second period.
But it wouldn’t take long for the Blackhawks to tie it up. Early in the second period, Jonathan Toews skated into the Bruins’ zone on the right side as a their power play was ending, and fired a shot off the right post and past goalie Tuukka Rask.
Toews had Patrick Kane and a patched up Shaw ready to help him convert the goal but his technically ability proved all that was needed to tie the score at 1-1. The score remained tied going into the third, but Jagr was noticeably missing from the bench in the second.
The score remained tied throughout the third period of play at 1-1 until the Bruins’ Milan Lucic scored with about 12 minutes left, making it 2-1 in favor of Boston.
The series seemed like it was headed for a Game 7 in Chicago, but then Bickell converted on the assist from Toews and tied the game with a minute and 16 seconds left, and just as it appeared that Game 6 was headed for an OT, as three of the first four games did, Bolland put the puck into the net after it had deflected of both teammate Michael Frolik and the post.
The game-winning goal came just 17 seconds after the game-tying goal. The Bruins took off Rask in favor of another skater to try and even the score with a about a minute left, but it was to no avail, the Blackhawks withstood the last minute efforts of the Bruins and hoisted the Cup for the city of Chicago in Boston’s TD Garden.
All but the hundred or so Blackhawks fans in the Garden had left by the time Toews was holding the Cup over his head and showing it to all he and his Blackhawks had reached the apex of professional hockey for the second time in four seasons.
The Blackhawks, who were down 2-1 in the series by the end of Game 3, won the next three games in a row, two of them on the road and one at home. The Blackhawks started out the year with the best record in hockey, going on a 21-win streak at the beginning of the season, and would hold the ultimate prize for that effort in Game 6, the Stanley Cup.
In the end, Boston couldn’t best the high-scoring side from Chicago, and the Blackhawks will bask in the glory of the Stanley Cup until the start of next year’s hockey season.
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