Blackhawks lift Cup thanks to two late goals

Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- An impressive number of Chicago Blackhawks fans surrounded the TD Garden glass late Monday night, screaming wildly for their team, which had just pulled off a remarkable comeback to win the Stanley Cup.
The predominantly red-shirted fans broke into a chant of "Let's Go Hawks" as the team celebrated on the ice with the oldest trophy in team sports.
And the way the Hawks won the fifth title in team history is a story that will be told for years to come.
Chicago, seemingly on the brink of going home for Game 7 on Wednesday night, struck for two late goals in less than 18 seconds to capture their second championship in the past four years, taking a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 6. The Blackhawks won the series four games to two, taking the final three games.
"I think there's something about our core," Patrick Kane, voted the Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP, said after the wild finish. "Hopefully, we can stay together a long time, because that's two Cups in four years, and we seem to only be getting better and better as players as time goes on here.
"It's unbelievable to be in this situation."
Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored the tying and winning goals, respectively, Bickell's coming with goalie Corey Crawford pulled. The rally prevented Boston from having a chance to win its second Cup in three years.
Bickell took a pass from Jonathan Toews and beat defenseless Boston goalie Tuukka Rask with 1:16 left, tying the game after Milan Lucic had scored a go-ahead goal with 7:49 remaining.
Bolland then cashed in a rebound after Michael Frolik's tip of a Johnny Oduya shot had hit the post. The winner came with 58.3 seconds left.
Crawford made 23 saves in a strong game. Rask finished with 28 saves.
After the traditional handshake, the Boston faithful started a "Let's Go Bruins" chant, and the team acknowledged the crowd before leaving the ice.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was beaten on a pinch for the first Chicago goal and then by the Toews' pass for the tying goal, meaning he had been on the ice for 10 of the Blackhawks' last 11 goals. He wasn't on for the winner, and Boston coach Claude Julien said after the game his defenseman wasn't playing at full strength.
Boston's Chris Kelly (No. 2) scored in the first period, and Toews (No. 3) answered in the second.
Bickell's goal was his ninth of the postseason, while Bolland scored his third.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who presided over his third lockout, a stoppage that almost killed the season, was roundly booed by the crowd during the postgame ceremonies.
Both Toews and Boston's Patrice Bergeron were able to play after leaving Game 5. Bergeron had gone in an ambulance to a Chicago hospital for examination of an undisclosed injury.
After the game, it was announced that Bergeron had broken a rib and suffered cartilage damage in the area Saturday. In addition, he separated a shoulder during Monday's game.
As far as Toews, who hit his head on the ice on a Boychuk hit and missed the third period of Game 5, Kane said, "He's a great player. He's played big in a lot of big games. He won the Conn Smythe our last playoffs and was awesome in that Olympic gold medal game and made some big plays tonight. A big goal, a big pass to Bickell to tie it up, and he's just a competitor.
"That's really all you can say about Jonathan Toews is he's a competitor, and he leads the team in the right way, and we all follow."
Julien said his team was hoping to present a Cup to a city that had just gone through the Boston Marathon tragedy.
"In the back of our minds, we wanted to do it for those kinds of reasons," he said. "The city of Boston, what the town's been through and all that stuff, it hit close to home, and the best way we felt we could try and cheer the area up was win a Stanley Cup. I think that's what's hard right now for the players."
Added Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg: "This is the tightest team I've been on. We love to play for each other, and we are very tight in this room. There's no excuses, we could have won this game. We've come alive this year and in these playoffs, and at the end I think we can be proud."
The Hawks, the Presidents' Trophy winner as the team with the most regular-season points, were down 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings before winning the last three to capture the Western Conference title. Boston won two of three in the finals before Chicago rallied. Three games in the last series went to overtime before the finale was decided in the last minute.
NOTES: Rask on the stunning finish: "I just said to somebody that we did it to Toronto (in Game 7 of the first round), so I guess we get a taste of our own medicine here. It sucks." ... Hawks fan Jim Belushi was on the ice after the game. ... Boston RW Jaromir Jagr, who didn't score a goal in the playoffs, left with a first-period injury, returned for the second but left after a short shift. He did play in the third. ... Toews made it clear in the morning he would play, saying, "I guess the way I've felt out there I would say it was the best morning skate I had all series." Bergeron didn't skate in the morning. ... The Hawks also captured the 2010 title in Game 6, closing out the Philadelphia Flyers on the road, Kane scoring the Cup winner in overtime. ... Boston C Tyler Seguin, who had one playoff goal, way back on May 23, has been playing with a congenital hip problem. He said after the game he'd be seeing a doctor Tuesday.

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