Blackhawks win Stanley Cup with thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Boston
Elise Amendola, AP
The Chicago Blackhawks like to win the Stanley Cup in a certain style.
Dramatic, on the road, and in Game 6.
They did the same thing three years ago in Philadelphia against the Flyers with an overtime goal off the stick of Patrick Kane. That victory gave them their first Stanley Cup win in 49 years.
Their wait for another championship was much shorter.
The Blackhawks won their second Stanley Cup in four seasons Monday night with a thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind over the Boston Bruins in front of a stunned TD Garden. Down 2-1, Bryan Bickell tied the game with 1:16 left in the third period, and Dave Bolland scored the game-winner with 58.3 seconds left to give Chicago a lead it wouldn't surrender. It was the latest that a Cup-winning goal has ever been scored in regulation.
"We knew we just needed one bounce there," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews told NBC's Pierre McGuire after the game. "It was a big goal for them [Boston] to go up 2-1. You never know what can happen so you don't stop playing until the end. This is a nice finish not having to go back to Chicago [for a Game 7]."
Patrick Kane became the fourth American (and third straight) to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, joining Bryan Leetch, Tim Thomas and Jonathan Quick. He scored nine goals and added 10 assists to finish with a team high 19 points in 23 playoff games.
"I think there were a lot of guys that deserved it," Kane told McGuire after the game. "I think [Corey Crawford] might have gotten snubbed, to be honest with you. It's a hell of an achievement. I think it speaks more for my team than for myself, personally, playing with great players."
Boston's Milan Lucic scored at the 12:11 mark of the third period with a wrist shot that hit the post, then bounced off the back of Crawford and rolled into the net to give Boston a 2-1 lead. The play was set up after Crawford failed to control the puck behind the net, and Duncan Keith couldn't clear the puck out of the zone seconds later. David Krejci got the puck behind the net and fed Lucic at the top of the crease, who beat Crawford for the fourth time this series.
The crowd at TD Garden started chanting "We want the Cup" after Lucic's goal, and it looked like the fans were going to get their wish of a Game 7.
But with under two minutes to go, Toews, who battled back from an upper-body injury suffered in Game 5, received a pass from Keith near the goal line and fed Bickell in front of Boston goalie Tuukka Rask. Bickell buried it five-hole to tie the game, and it looked like the two teams were poised to play their fourth overtime game of the series.
But the Blackhawks, who started the season with 24 straight games without a regulation loss, didn't play for overtime. They took advantage of a Bruins team that look demoralized after the tying goal.
David Bolland, known mostly for his grinding in the corners, became the latest hero in Chicago sports history, along with Kane, Walter Peyton and Michael Jordan.
A shot from defenseman Michal Rozsival deflected off the stick of Michael Frolik and then bounced off the post to the right of Rask. The puck came right to the stick of Bolland, who stuffed it in while having his glove knocked off by Bruin defenseman Johnny Boychuck.
Bolland's teammates mobbed him and the Hawk bench erupted.
"You see that puck bounce around there, and all I had to do was tap it in," Bolland said.
After Chicago took the lead, Boston couldn't muster any offense as the final seconds ticked away and one of the most wild games in Stanley Cup Finals history was over.
All it took was 17 seconds.
"I still can't believe that finish," Crawford told McGuire. "We never quit. This feels unbelievable. Amazing, man."
Crawford fought off the critics after Game 4 in which he gave up five goals on his glove side. He only gave up three goals in the last two games.
"Never lost confidence. Nobody in our room ever did," Crawford said. "All year, all playoffs, we've been behind each other. It was a hell of an effort by everyone. Unbelievable. We just kept telling ourselves to play our game. We did that all year long. It's so much hard work to get to this point. It feels so good right now."
The Bruins got on the board first with a goal by Chris Kelly off a feed by Tyler Seguin, who knocked the puck down with his glove and fed Kelly, who was stationed at the hashmarks to the left of Crawford.
Toews answered back at the 4:24 mark of the second period with a snap shot through the legs of Rask. It was Toews' second goal in the last two games after only scoring one goal in his first 20 games of the playoffs.
"It's a great feeling. All the hard work pays off," Kane told TSN after the game.
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron played a full dose of minutes in Game 6 after staying in the hospital overnight in Chicago after Game 5.
Andrew Shaw, who scored the game-winner in triple-overtime in Game 1, briefly left the game to get stitches to his right cheek after taking a puck to the face in the first period. The referee ordered him to leave the ice a couple times to get cleaned up because his wound re-opened and wouldn't stop bleeding.
Crawford made 21 saves for the Hawks, and Rask made 31 saves for Boston.
Boston will be left with a bitter taste in the offseaon, as they were only 1:16 away from forcing a seventh game, which they're accustomed to. They are 4-1 in their last five Game 7s dating back to 2011, when they won the Cup.
Boston had 21 scoring chances in the first period alone, but Chicago only surrendered the one goal to Kelly. The Blackhawks blocked 13 shots in the opening period to weather the storm.
"The pressure of winning the President's Trophy and hanging on to that pressure all the way to the end you know," Kane told McGuire. "Down 2-1 in the last minute and then you come through with a 3-2 win. It's unbelievable. Dave Bolland — what else can you say about that guy. He shows up in big playoff games."
Michael Smith is an intern in the news section of DeseretNews.com. A 2013 graduate of the University of Utah, he will be attending Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism in the fall.
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