CHICAGO (AP) — Showing off their grit and determination, the Chicago Blackhawks finally put away the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup finals.
The city of broad shoulders, strong enough to carry the silver trophy once again. A Windy City party 77 years in the making.
Duncan Keith scored in the second period and directed a dominant defense that shut down Tampa Bay's high-scoring attack, and the Blackhawks beat the Lightning 2-0 in Game 6 on Monday night for their third NHL title in the past six seasons.
"It doesn't feel real right now. It's unbelievable," captain Jonathan Toews said. "Feels like a dream. Every time we do it, it gets better and better. It's an amazing feeling."
The Tampa Bay Lightning lost Game 1 last night, 2-1, after the Chicago Blackhawks scored twice in 1:58 late in the third period. That kind of loss hurts — especially when the Lightning’s lone goal was quite possibly the goal of the year.
Alex Killorn put the puck behind Hawks goalie Corey Crawford in the first period with such sick skill that it’s mind boggling that it actually happened:
Tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning will kick off the Stanley Cup Finals at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. It’s been a long and difficult road to get to where they are now — including both teams winning tough Game 7s in the Conference Finals.
The Blackhawks and Lightning are the best of the best this season, but only one team can hoist the Cup. And in 2015, it’s going to be Chicago. Here are the six reasons I think the Blackhawks will defeat the Lighting in six games to win their third Stanley Cup in six years.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks dealt with Game 7 pressure in the same way they've handled just about everything during their incredible seven-year playoff run.
And after ending a remarkable Western Conference finals with a blowout victory, the Blackhawks get another chance to raise the Stanley Cup.
Toews scored two goals in the opening minutes, Corey Crawford made 35 saves and Chicago roared into the Stanley Cup finals with a 5-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.
NEW YORK (AP) — The only history the Tampa Bay Lightning were interested in was what they would create.
Such as handing the New York Rangers their first Game 7 loss at Madison Square Garden, which they did Friday night with their second straight 2-0 road victory behind Ben Bishop's 22 saves.
Such as heading to their second Stanley Cup final, where they will play Chicago or Anaheim, which will decide the Western Conference title Saturday night.
Such as going 9-0 when scoring first in this postseason, which they did when Alex Killorn slipped a backhander under Henrik Lundqvist early in the third period.
The NHL playoffs began on April 15. Two weeks later, we’re still in the first round round. Tampa Bay and Detroit will close it out when they meet for a Game 7 on April 29. After a long opening round, following a long 82-game regular season, you have to wonder: Is the NHL postseason really rewarding great hockey? Kid Reporter Evan Bergen-Epstein says “no.”
Most hockey fans consider the Stanley Cup to be the best trophy in sports. Of course they do. Measuring over 35 inches tall and weighing almost as many pounds, it’s by far the largest trophy in major pro sports. Such an award should only be given to a team worthy of the honor. The current NHL playoff format does not do that.