It would have been more than appropriate if the Stanley Cup final series between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks went the distance and featured a Game 7. After all, these are the two teams that thrilled hockey fans across America with three overtime games, including the opening game of the series that saw three overtime periods.
However, the Blackhawks found their groove by winning the last three games of the season, including the deciding game on Monday night, which crowned them Stanley Cup champions for the fifth time in franchise history.
Outside of offering incredibly entertaining hockey, this series was significant because it was the first time that two Original Six teams met in the finals since 1979.
The Blackhawks seized this special moment by mounting a late-game surge and downing the Bruins on the road to the tune of 3-2 in the decisive Game 6.
Within the final two minutes of the game, the Blackhawks got two very quick goals from Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland and held on tightly for the remaining minute to hoist the cup.
Jonathan Toews was the first to strike for Chicago when he slapped one home late in the second period to knot the score at 1-1. Corey Crawford stood tall in goal for the Blackhawks, amassing 23 saves in the victory.
It was the fitting end to a topsy-turvy series. The following is a brief recap of a memorable match-up.
Game 1: Chicago 4, Boston 3 (3 OT)
This served as the fifth-longest game in the history of the Stanley Cup finals. Dave Bolland fired off a shot in the third overtime period and Andrew Shaw was able to redirect it and get it by Boston goalkeeper Tuuka Rask.
Game 2: Boston 2, Chicago 1 (OT)
More overtime! This one only went one period before Daniel Paille snuck in a wrister to clinch Boston’s victory. The real story out of this game was Rask’s masterful outing between the pipes, where he recorded 33 saves.
Game 3: Boston 2, Chicago 0
The Bruins were able to build some momentum in the series by getting goals from Paille and Patrice Bergeron.
Game 4: Chicago 6, Boston 5 (OT)
This was perhaps the most pivotal game of the series. If the Bruins came out with a 3-1 lead in the series, the hole might be too deep for the Blackhawks to crawl out of. It was Chicago’s game to lose, too, after leading 3-1 late in the second period. Johnny Boychuk tied the game up later in the third period before Brent Seabrook broke the tie for the Blawhawks in overtime.
Game 5: Chicago 3, Boston 1
The Blachawks spread out their scoring over all three periods of play to secure their second straight victory in the series. Patrick Kane was the shining star in the affair by netting goals for Chicago in the first and second periods. Bolland poked in an empty netter while Boston got their goal from big man Zdeno Chara.