BOSTON– Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored 17 seconds apart at the end of the third period and the Chicago Blackhawks staged a stunning rally to win Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, 3-2. It was their second NHL championship in four seasons.
Jonathan Toews returned from an injury to add a goal, and Corey Crawford made 23 saves for Chicago. Post-game Crawford said, “I still can’t believe that finish.” He added, “Oh my God, we never quit.”
Patrick Kane, whose overtime goal in Game 6 beat Philadelphia to win the 2010 championship for Chicago, was voted the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoffs MVP. Toews scored his third goal of the playoffs to tie it for the Blackawks at 4:24 of the second period. Toews scored when he got past Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara along the boards in the neutral zone. Chicago’s captain 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.
Boston, needing a win 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. Each team got one of its best players back when Toews and Boston’s Patrice Bergeron returned to the lineup.
Five of the last nine Cup finals have gone seven games, including in 2011 when the Bruins overcame a 3-2 series deficit and won their first championship since 1972 by winning Game 6 in Boston and Game 7 in Vancouver. This year’s finals had been extremely tight, with three of the first five games going to overtime.
Last season, the Los Angeles Kings beat the New Jersey Devils in six games. This season, the Blackhawks beat the Kings in five games to reach the Cup finals, clinching the series on Kane’s goal in overtime. This was the first NHL Original Six finals since 1979.