Blackhawks Stage Late Rally to Win Stanley Cup

(Charles Krupa/AP)

Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane hoists the Stanley Cup after beating the Boston Bruins 3-2 in Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Monday, June 24, 2013, in Boston.

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The Chicago captain skated the Cup right over the crease in which the Blackhawks mounted the comeback and in front of the fans in Blackhawks sweaters who lined the front row behind the net. Toews banged on the glass while the remaining Bruins fans headed up the runways.

He then continued the tradition of handing it from player to player before the team settled to the side of the faceoff circle for a picture with the trophy they will possess for the next 12 months.

The Blackhawks opened the season on a 21-0-3 streak and coasted to the Presidents' Trophy that goes to the team with the best regular-season record. But regular-season excellence has not translated into playoff success: Chicago is the first team with the best record to win the Cup since the 2008 Detroit Red Wings.

The Blackhawks went through Minnesota in five games and Detroit in seven, rallying in the Western Conference semifinals from a 3-1 deficit and winning Game 7 in overtime. They got through the defending NHL champion Los Angeles Kings in five games to return to the Cup finals, where Boston was waiting.

The Blackhawks won the first game at home in three overtimes but dropped Game 2 — another overtime — and fell behind 2-1 in the series when it returned to Boston.

But since then, it's been all Chicago.

The tightly contested finals — with three games going a total of five overtimes — may help fans forget the lockout that shortened the season to 48 games and pushed back the opener to Jan. 19. That left the teams still playing ice hockey on a 95-degree day in Boston on June 24, matching the latest date in NHL history.

Fans in their Bruins sweaters filtered into the air conditioned TD Garden to see the last game in Boston for the year with the hope there would be one more in Chicago: a seventh game just like two years ago, when the Bruins rallied from a 3-2 deficit, then won in Vancouver for their first NHL championship since 1972.

Both teams were bolstered by the return of star forwards, Selke Trophy winner Toews of Chicago and Patrice Bergeron, who was a finalist for the award given to the top defensive forward in the league. Both returned after missing the end of Game 5, and but only Toews showed up in the box score.

What had already been a physical series continued to take its toll, with Jaromir Jagr — the NHL's active playoff scoring leader — and Andrew Shaw both going to the dressing room during the first period. Jagr's injury was not known, but Shaw deflected a slap shot from Shawn Thornton off his own right cheek and crumpled to the ice, leaving behind a pool of blood when he skated off.

Both returned, but Jagr again disappeared from the Boston bench in the second. Crawford also forced a stoppage of play when his mask came off following a David Krejci slap shot off his shoulder; the Chicago goalie appeared to need a little time to recover, but he stayed in the game.

The Bruins, who never led in Games 4 and 5, took the lead seven minutes into the game when Tyler Seguin gloved a pass from Daniel Paille and controlled it, then backhanded it across the middle to Chris Kelly. He beat Crawford on the glove side to make it 1-0.

But the Blackhawks tied it early in the second when, as a Bruins power play was ending, Toews broke into the Boston zone on the right side. He had Kane in the middle and Andrew Shaw coming out of the box, but didn't need either one, rattling it in off the right post to make it 1-1.

It stayed that way until Lucic put Boston ahead with 7:49 left in the third.

The final series seemed headed for a Game 7 for the sixth time in the last 10 years before Bickell and Bolland turned it around.

"Dave Bolland, what else can you say about that guy?" Kane said. "He just shows up in big playoff games."

NOTES: The Blackhawks are now 2-5 against the Bruins in playoff series. This was the teams' first matchup in the finals. ... Bolland missed the entire first-round series with an injury. ... Kane and Toews had no goals in the first three games. ... Chara, who won the Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman in 2009, was on the ice for 10 of the last 12 Chicago goals. ... Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing, was honored before the game. He went onto the ice with a walker and stood up to receive cheers from the crowd.