Boston, MA -- The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup tonight by defeating the Boston Bruins in six games for the NHL championship title in a furious late rally.
The NHL playoff results often have no relationship to what goes on in the regular season, but this is one instance where the best regular-season team also prevailed in the post-season. The Blackhawks went 36-7-5 in lockout-shortened regular season play, starting the 2013 campaign with a 21-0-3 streak.
But it wasn't easy by any means. Down 2-1 to the Bruins tonight at the TD Garden, the Bruins' home ice, the 'Hawks scored two goals in the last 90 seconds of regulation in the third period, some 17 second apart. "Milan Lucic had given the Bruins a 2-1 lead at 12:11 of the third period, pushing Game 6 toward what would have been the fourth overtime game of the series. But the Blackhawks' Bryan Bickell tied the game with 1 minute, 16 seconds left in regulation, slamming home a pass from Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. Seventeen seconds later, Dave Bolland knocked in a rebound off the goal post with 58.3 seconds to go." Toews, the team captain who returned to the lineup after an injury in Game 5, scored a goal in the second period. Chris Kelly of the Bruins scored the only goal of the first period.
Both teams started the third period tied at 1-1, and it appeared that another overtime session was likely. But the Blackhawks got the win in dramatic fashion with the two late goals.
Chicago also faced elimination by the Detroit Red Wings in the conference semi-final but reeled off three straight wins (including an overtime victory in game 7) to advance to the finals against the Los Angeles Kings whom they defeated in five games.
Earlier in the playoffs, down 4-1 deep in the third period of Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins mounted a stunning comeback of their own to score three quick goals and then went on to win in overtime and advance to the next round.
The hard-fought finals between the Bruins and the Blackhawks featured three overtime games. Chicago won Game 1 in three overtimes 4-3; in Game 2, Boston prevailed 2-1 in one overtime. The Bruins also won Game 3 in regulation by a 2-0 score. Game 4 went to Chicago in OT 6-5, and Chicago won Game 5 in regulation -- final score 3-1.
Patrick Kane was named the playoffs MVP as the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy.