The Norman Transcript

Sports

June 25, 2013

Blackhawks claim title

BOSTON — An NHL-record unbeaten streak to start the lockout-shortened season.

Three straight victories to clinch the title.

From beginning to end, the Chicago Blackhawks skated away from the rest of the league.

Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored 17 seconds apart in the final 1:16 and the Blackhawks struck quickly to win Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final 3-2 on Monday night for their second NHL championship in four seasons.

“I still can’t believe that finish. Oh my God, we never quit,” said goalie Corey Crawford, who made 23 saves. “I never lost confidence. No one in our room ever did.”

Jonathan Toews returned from injury to add a goal and an assist in the first finals between

Original Six teams since 1979. Patrick Kane, whose overtime goal in Game 6 beat Philadelphia to win the 2010 championship, was voted the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as this year’s playoffs MVP.

“In 2010, we didn’t really know what we were doing. We just, we played great hockey and we were kind of oblivious to how good we were playing,” said Toews, who scored his third goal of the playoffs to tie it 1-1 in the second period, then fed Bickell for the score that tied it with 76 seconds to play. “We played great hockey and we were kind of oblivious to how good we were playing.

“This time around, we know definitely how much work it takes and how much sacrifice it takes to get back here and this is an unbelievable group,” Toews said. “We’ve been through a lot together this year and this is a sweet way to finish it off.”

Trailing 2-1, Crawford went off for an extra skater and the Blackhawks converted when Toews fed it in front and Bickell scored from the edge of the crease to tie the score.

Perhaps the Bruins expected it to go to overtime, as three of the first four games in the series did.

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