BOSTON -- It had been a tough, grinding night, but, with a minute-and-a-half to go, it looked as if the Bruins had done just enough to send the Stanley Cup Finals back to Chicago for a winner-take-all Game 7 on Wednesday night.
And then -- with one of the most amazing comebacks in NHL history -- the Blackhawks grabbed the game, the series, and the Stanley Cup out of the B's hands.
With goalie Corey Crawford on the bench for a sixth skater, Bryan Bickell rammed home a perfect pass from Jonathan Toews with 1:16 to play, tying the game at 2-2. Then, 17 seconds later, Dave Bolland scored, giving Chicago an amazing 3-2 victory -- or hung the Bruins with a heartbreaking 3-2 loss, depending on your point of view -- and its second Stanley Cup championship in four years.
The late rally came after the Bruins had taken a 2-1 lead with 7:49 left in regulation as Milan Lucic, parked out front, finished a David Krejci pass from behind the net. Lucic created a Crawford turnover behind the Chicago net, and Krejci picked up the loose puck, where he sent it out front to Lucic, who beat Crawford low.
The Bruins took a 1-0 lead into the second period, thanks to a Chris Kelly goal 7:19 into the game. Kelly won a draw at the right circle inside the Blackhawks' zone, and Tyler Seguin -- who was lined up on the boards at the right wing -- skated back to the top of the circle and won a battle for the loose puck and sent it over to Dan Paille, who attempted a cross-ice pass. His attempt was deflected into the air, and Seguin reached up and caught it with his glove, put it on the ice, and sent a perfect pass through Duncan Keith over to Kelly at the right post. Kelly finished with a one-timer.
Boston had a golden opportunity to go up 2-0 in the final minute of the first, but Krejci couldn't get a good enough piece of a Brad Marchand cross-ice feed. Marchand completely undressed Niklas Hjalmarsson with a toe drag at the top of the left circle and fed it across to Krejci, who was going hard to the right post. Krejci got his stick on it, and the net was wide open, but he put it wide-right.
Chicago tied the game at 1-1 in the opening minutes of the second period, as Toews took full advantage of a Zdeno Chara pinch in the neutral zone. As a Bruins power play was coming to an end, Chara stepped up on a loose puck at the red line after a neutral-zone faceoff. Michal Rozsival beat Chara to it and chipped it past him up the boards, where Toews took it and walked in on a 2-on-1. Toews was thinking shoot all the way, and beat Tuukka Rask with a low snapper, 4:24 into the second.
The Bruins were forced to play most of the second period without Jaromir Jagr, who only played 3:03 in the first, and had a total of 4:24 of ice time through the first two periods after he was involved in a first-period collision. Seguin stepped into his spot on a line with Bergeron and Marchand.
Jagr returned for the third period and played on his usual line with Bergeron and Marchand.