CHICAGO (CBS) — In an almost improbable comeback, the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 for their second Stanley Cup title since 2010.
David Bolland scored with just 58 seconds left to give Chicago the lead after Bryan Bickell had tied it 17 seconds earlier.
Bolland’s game-winner came on a rebound of Johnny Odyua’s shot from the point the clanked off the post. Bolland quickly stuffed the puck past goaltender Tuukka Rask and then tossed his gloves and raised his fists in triumph.
“It’s unbelievable, it happened so fast,” said captain Jonathan Toews. “It’s awesome. We are going back home and we got the Cup.”
And just like the championship in 2010 in Philadelphia, the Blackhawks won it on the road avoiding a do-or-die Game 7 back at the United Center.
“It’s always the best feeling in the world, it’s perfect,” said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville.
And it certainly looked like Chicago fans were looking at a Game 7 after the Bruins largely dominated play until the last minute.
The victory set off a huge celebration across the city, but there were no reports of any violence and just a few arrests.
Patrick Kane won the Conn Smythe trophy as the most valuable player. Despite his magic during the series, he was even surprised that the Hawks pulled this victory out of the hat.
“You think you are going back to Chicago for Game 7, then you think you are going into overtime, then you score 17 seconds later,” he said. “It’s an unbelievable feeling.”
“We needed some heroes and Kane was one of them,” Toews said.
Boston’s Milan Lucic put Boston ahead 2-1, at 12:11 of the third period. That left many Chicago fans simply hoping to get one back and send the game into yet another overtime.
Jonathan Toews tied the game at 1-1 in the second period, firing a laser shot between the pads of Tuukka Rask. Toews was able to slide past the Bruins defenders after a face off in the neutral zone and blew into the Bruins zone for the goal.
Toews, who missed the third period of Game 5 after taking a hard hit from Johnny Boychuk, scored at 4:24 of the second — exactly two minutes after teammate Andrew Shaw was penalized for roughing.
It was Toews’ second goal in three games
Andrew Shaw was briefly knocked out the game by a wicked slap shot to the face late in the first period.
Shaw, who does not wear a visor, got in front of a blast just inside the right point from the Bruins’ Shawn Thornton.
Shaw appeared to be knocked out briefly after the puck slammed into his cheek.
At the start of the second period, he was back on the bench with several stitches on the side of his face.
Shaw’s injury came as Boston totally dominated the first period, relentlessly attacking goalie Corey Crawford.
Boston out-shot the Blackhawks 12-6, and that total could have been even more lopsided as Chicago blocked 13 shots.
Indeed, the fact that Boston only led 1-0 after the first was a minor miracle.
Boston also had 16 hits compared with 13 for Chicago. Boston also dominated on face-offs, winning 17 to Chicago’s 7.
In fact one of those face off wins eventually led to the only goal by Chris Kelly.
In 2010, Chicago won its first NHL title since 1961 on Patrick Kane’s overtime goal in Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers. As they did this year, the Blackhawks won Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead.
This year’s finals were extremely tight, with three of the first five games going to overtime. Chicago won the opener in three overtimes, then Boston won 2-1 in one extra period and 2-0. The Blackhawks regained home-ice advantage with a 6-5 overtime win in a wild Game 4 in Boston before returning home for Saturday night’s win.
Teams that have won Game 5 after splitting the first four have won the Cup 15 of 22 times since the best-of-seven format began in 1939. But the loser of Game 5 the past six times has won four championships, including the Bruins against the Canucks.
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.