Blackhawks 3, Bruins 2: Charging to the Cup
Chicago scores twice in 17-second span of final 1:16 of Game 6
Goalie Corey Crawford, who made 23 saves, hoists the Stanley Cup after the Blackhawks beat the Bruins in Game 6.
BOSTON — An NHL-record undefeated streak to start the lockout-shortened season.
Three straight victories to clinch the title.
From beginning to end, the Chicago Blackhawks skated away from the rest of the league.
Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored 17 seconds apart in the final 1:16, and the Blackhawks staged a stunning rally to win Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals 3-2 last night for their second NHL championship in four years.
Jonathan Toews returned from injury to add a goal, and Corey Crawford made 23 saves for Chicago in the first Finals between Original Six teams since 1979.
“I still can’t believe that finish,” Crawford said. “Oh my God, we never quit.”
Patrick Kane, whose overtime goal in Game 6 helped Chicago defeat Philadelphia to win the 2010 Stanley Cup, was voted the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoffs MVP.
“It was the best year of my life, just playing with these guys,” said Kane, who had nine goals and 10 assists in 23 playoff games.
Toews got his third goal of the playoffs to tie the score at 1 for the Blackhawks at 4:24 of the second period of Game 6 — exactly two minutes after teammate Andrew Shaw was penalized for roughing.
“In 2010, we didn’t really know what we were doing,” Toews said. “We just, we played great hockey and we were kind of oblivious to how good we were playing. This time around, we know definitely how much work it takes and how much sacrifice it takes to get back here and this is an unbelievable group. We’ve been through a lot together this year, and this is a sweet way to finish it off.”
Boston, needing a victory to extend the series to a deciding Game 7, came out aggressively and led 1-0 after one period on Chris Kelly’s second goal of the playoffs. The Bruins outshot the Blackhawks 12-6 in the first period but the margin dropped to 18-15 through two periods.
Each team got one of its best players back when Toews and Boston alternate captain Patrice Bergeron returned to the lineup after leaving the Blackhawks’ 3-1 victory in Game 5 on Saturday because of injuries.
Toews scored when he got past Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara along the boards in the neutral zone. He skated up the right side and fired a hard shot from the right faceoff dot that beat goalie Tuukka Rask between his pads.
It was Toews’ second goal in three games. Of Chicago’s last 10 goals, Chara was on the ice for nine.
Milan Lucic gave Boston a 2-1 lead with 7:49 remaining in the third, but the Blackhawks continued to push.
Bickell tied the score with 1:16 left off a pass from Toews after the Blackhawks had sent Crawford to the bench for an extra skater. Just 17 seconds later, Bolland scored again for Chicago, and the Blackhawks held off the stunned Bruins from there.
“You never know what can happen,” Toews said, “so you don’t stop playing until the end.”