Blackhawks Defeat Bruins 3-2; Win 2013 Stanley Cup


Defenseman Johnny Oduya (#27) and Goalie Corey Crawford celebrate the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins in TD Garden in Boston. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

In a season where its fate came down to the wire and the NHL almost started digging its own grave, the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 Monday night in Game Six of an Original Six Stanley Cup match-up that featured some Stanley Cup Final theater that hadn’t been since in almost two decades.

Winning two of their five franchise Stanley Cups in the last three years, the Blackhawks–who won the President’s Trophy–got off to a roaring start without a loss in their first 24 games, concluding their season in TD Garden in Boston.  Giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead in the first period, 2011 Stanley Cup Winner Chris Kelly had a nice set-up from Tyler Seguin from the right circle at 7:19.  Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, who missed the third period due to an undisclosed injury in Game Five, netted the first goal for Chicago in the first.  It was his second goal in the last three games.

The Boston crowd started chanting “We want the Cup!” after a Milan Lucic go-ahead goal with eight minutes remaining, but minutes later, the arena would be empty, clad for a few Blackhawks fans.  However, a flair for the dramatic–what defined Chicago’s season–would come around in the third period as Bryan Bickell would score at 18:44 with Dave Bolland giving the Hawks the 3-2 lead as the Bruins had just 59 seconds left until futility.

An afterthought in their 2010 season, Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford stopped 23 shots while his counterpart Tuukka Rask made 28.  For the series, the Blackhawks outscored the Bruins 17-15, and although the Bruins were hoping from overtime, as in three of the first four games, it ultimately would not come.

Of Chicago’s last 10 goals scored in the Final, Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara was on the ice for nine; after the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien admitted Chara “wasn’t 100 percent.”  Neither was Boston center and alternate Captain Patrice Bergeron.  Although playing Game Six, Bergeron finished the season with a broken rib, torn cartilage, and a separated shoulder.  Bergeron finished with four power-play goals for Boston in the playoffs, which is second best in Bruins franchise history.

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane won the 2013 Conn Smythe Trophy, which is awarded to the Most Valuble Player in the Stanley Cup Final.  In Kane’s last eight games, Kane tallied seven goals, including an assist on Chicago defenseman’s Brent Seabrook overtime winner in Game 4.  In Game 5 against the Los Angeles Kings, Kane netted a hat trick.  The 24-year-old has a flair for the dramatic, including scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Chicago out-shot Boston 31-25, while Boston had the edge in faceoff wins, 36-28.  Despite a champion now crowned, the NHL doesn’t have a long layover from the public spectrum as the NHL Draft kicks off in Newark at the Prudential Center this Sunday June 30.