Game 6 Reaction: Blackhawks 3, Bruins 2
June, 24, 2013
By James Murphy | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks scored twice in 17 seconds to erase a 2-1 Boston Bruins lead and win the Stanley Cup in six games. Bryan Bickell tied the game with 1:16 left and then Dave Bolland scored the game winner with 58.3 seconds left in regulation to bring the Bruins' season to a stunning end.
Milan Lucic had given the Bruins the lead 12:11 into the third period. They seemed to be in control, but the Bruins fell apart in the final two minutes and will be left to wonder what happened all summer long.
Chris Kelly had the Bruins' first goal. Jonathan Toews scored the Blackhawks' first goal to even the game at 1-1. Tuukka Rask had 28 saves for Boston, and Corey Crawford finished with 23 for the Blackhawks.
Mental lapse by Bruins at worst possible time: The Bruins admitted they suffered from nerves and mental lapses in the opening period of Game 5, putting them behind the eight ball right away. But what happened in the final 1:16 of regulation in Game 6 was a mental lapse of epic proportions. All of a sudden the Bruins seemed frozen, or perhaps they were thinking ahead to Game 7. And then the Blackhawks pounced. There was no coverage in front of the net, and Chicago moved the puck toward the net with too much ease. This was a breakdown the Bruins will never forget.
Lucic a beast again: Lucic capped off his best playoff season by playing arguably his best game of the playoffs. Lucic gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead 12:11 into the third period and was masterful on the faceoff dot, winning seven of nine attempts. As he was throughout the postseason, Lucic was a physical force in Game 6, driving to the net and creating traffic in front. He finished the playoffs with seven goals and 18 points and showed he can play in the clutch.
Jagr and Bergeron battle through: After leaving Game 5 with an undisclosed injury and getting examined in a Chicago-area hospital, Patrice Bergeron suited up and played Game 6. Bergeron played 24 shifts, had 17:45 of ice time and won five of 11 faceoffs he took. He was clearly hurting, but give him tons of credit for giving his all to try to help his team force a Game 7. Meanwhile, the Bruins had to deal with another unexpected injury as Jaromir Jagr was hurt early on and missed the rest of the opening period. He tried to give it a go in the second period but could take only one shift before returning to the dressing room for treatment. But Jagr toughed it out and came back to play more in the third period. He finished with nine shifts and 6:27 of ice time.
Bruins' power play struggles to put game away: While the Bruins' power play hadn't been producing as much as they would like, the unit was at least getting on the scoreboard occasionally as well as generating momentum that led to several goals in the ensuing minutes after the power play ended. But in Game 6, the Bruins' power play not only failed to score (0-for-4), but also lacked energy. The Blackhawks actually scored their first goal right after a fruitless Bruins power play, showing just how much the Boston man advantage lacked in Game 6.
Players deal with melting quagmire: Give the NHL and the TD Garden ice crew credit for doing everything they could to battle the hot and muggy summer weather in Boston on Monday, including bringing in a giant dehumidifier. But as the game went on, the inevitable quagmire of melting ice occurred, and the players were forced to adjust by simplifying their game. The pace slowed down as the puck bounced around, but somehow both teams still put on one heck of an exciting show.
Bergeron returns and Soderberg plays: With Bergeron back in, the lineup was the same as it was to begin Game 5. Bergeron was back between normal linemates Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr to start the game. When Jagr was missing in action, Tyler Seguin appeared to get the majority of the time back with his normal linemates of the past two seasons. Carl Soderberg played his second Stanley Cup playoff game with Shawn Thornton and Rich Peverley once again.
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Carl Soderberg-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid