Chicago scores twice in 17 seconds in waning moments to win the Stanley Cup in 6 games

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Down a goal with less than 90 seconds left in the third period the Chicago Blackhawks got goals from Bryan Bickell to tie it and Dave Bolland to win their second Stanley Cup in four seasons.

The Bruins went up 1-0 early but the game was tied for most of the contest until Milan Lucic gave the Bruins a late lead.  The Blackhawks would battle back valiantly to stun the Bruins and win the series in six games.  Throughout the six-game series the Blackhawks would outscore the Bruins by two goals.  Four of the six games were decided by one goal, two of which were decided in overtime.

Pushed to the brink the Bruins finally pushed back against their bad starts.  The Bruins would go on to out-shoot the Blackhawks 12-6 with genuine scoring chances even more tilted than that.  The most notable improvement was the Bruins willingness to throw the body.  The Bruins defensemen engaged more at the blue line while forwards made the Blackhawks pay on the boards.  The physicality, paired with success at the dot would lead to the first goal of the game.  After a nice faceoff win in the Blackhawks zone was won backwards into a cluster.  The Bruins won the puck battle as Daniel Paille hacked a bouncer in the direction of the net.  Tyler Seguin caught the puck out of mid-air, quickly put it down and passed to Chris Kelly who put in the effective one-timer glove-side.

The Blackhawks found some pep in their step after the goal, breaking out for a quick chance that was thwarted.  The Bruins would then have long, grinding shifts in the Chicago zone, but couldn’t get the second goal.  In between those long shifts Tuukka Rask made some key saves on breakaways.

The Bruins would get the first power-play of the game when a scrum out front led Johnny Oduya to commit a hook. The Bruins would have a good power-play effort, getting good looks, none better than Milan Lucic‘s chance at the end of a 4-on-2, but Brent Seabrook snuffed it out.

The Bruins would get a second power-play with 95 seconds left in the first period when Michal Rozsival was sent off for high-sticking.  The Bruins power-play would have a good deal of chances before the period ended.  The Bruins nearly went up by two when Brad Marchand hit David Krejci in the crease but Krejci put the bouncing puck over the net.

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The Bruins would enter their third power-play of the game early in the second period, the first two failures despite 10 total scoring chances.  The Blackhawks third kill was much improved, keeping the puck out of their zone for the majority of the penalty time.  As the penalty was expiring Jonathan Toews led out a 2-on-1 after Zdeno Chara misplayed a puck at the red line.  Toews looked to Patrick Kane but shot and beat Rask five-hole cleanly for the momentum shifter.

The Bruins woud soon after get a fourth straight power-play, this time looking better, but still coming away goalless. The Bruins would spend well over a minute of overlapping power-play and 5-on-5 time in the Chicago zone but did little more than wear down four Blackhawks.  The kill and the earlier Toews goal gave the Blackhawks a lot of momentum as they began to put together good shifts in the Bruins zone more consistently.

A nice long shift by Andrew Shaw and company led to the first Bruins penalty of the night when Tyler Seguin was sent off after making a turnover at the end of a long shift.  Patrick Kane nearly put the Hawks up early when he snuck in the back door looking for a rebound but the puck was speared out of the crease.

The third period brought more intensity as the Bruins turned up their game a notch and swung momentum back closer to even.  The Bruins third line looked particular good, speeding through all three zones and getting behind the Blackhawks defense but not coming through with a goal.  The Blackhawks spurts were more measured and calculating whereas the Bruins were frantic and desperate.

With under eight minutes left in the third period the Bruins frantic style would pay off in the form of a Milan Lucic goal.  Lucic did a great job on the forecheck to disrupt the Blackhawks plans, then deflected a clearing attempt to David Krejci.  Krejci was doubled behind the net but flicked the puck into traffic.  Nathan Horton batted the puck out of mid-air towards the goal and Milan Lucic followed up with his own hacking attempt that beat Corey Crawford blocker side and trickled in.

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With 5:39 left in the third period Chris Kelly was sent off, giving the Blackhawks a critical power-play opportunity to tie the contest.  The Bruins would kill the majority of the penalty without allowing the Hawks to set up at all.  With Kelly out of the box, and the Hawks primed to make a push the third period wound down with every second becoming more critical than the last.  The Blackhawks would pul Crawford with 90 seconds left and Bryan Bickell would make it count just seconds later when he banged in a one-timer at the top of the crease for the game-tying goal.

Dave Bolland would give the Blackhawks the lead just 17 seconds later.  With under a minute left in regulation a shot from the point was deflected and hit the post.  Rask was down and out in the crease and Johnny Boychuk couldn’t clear the loose puck in time, leaving the net open for Bolland to bang home.  The Blackhawks would keep Crawford safe in the final minute and take home the Stanley Cup.

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Jim Lyons

The blogger formerly known as @BruCrewHockey, posts mostly about hockey but occasionally about music and other random things. @JimmyFausto and @BleedingBruins on twitter.