Blackhawks Win Third Stanley Cup in 6 Seasons

The Chicago Blackhawks got goals from Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane and 25 saves from Corey Crawford as they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 2-0 and clinched their third Stanley Cup championship in six seasons. 

The Blackhawks controlled the majority of play early on, but the Lightning had the high-quality scoring chances to start off the game. Johnny Oduya made a huge play as he broke down the ice and tied up Nikita Kucherov on a breakaway chance, and then Steven Stamkos saw his rifled slapshot on a rush ring off the post as the game remained tied at 0-0.

Cedric Paquette picked up the first penalty of the game on an offensive zone trip, and while the Hawks had some good looks, they couldn’t put one home. Teuvo Teravainen’s deflection off a Marian Hossa pass barely skipped wide of the cage, and Brent Seabrook had a slap shot knocked down by Ben Bishop as the Tampa goaltender came out of the gate strong.

Later in the period, the Blackhawks got another power play, but luck continued to elude them. Patrick Kane’s pass to Jonathan Toews was steered just wide of the cage by the Hawks’ captain, and Kane’s wrist shot from the goal line went just outside the near post. Finally Toews was stopped on an opportunity near the blue paint, and the game stayed scoreless after 20 minutes of play.

To the surprise of no one, the Bolts came out of the gate firing in the second period, but Corey Crawford was up to the challenge. Stamkos had a breakaway early in the frame on their best chance, and his shot was stopped by the leg pad of Crawford.

The Blackhawks pushed back hard as the period moved along, but their advances were all pushed aside by Bishop. A 3-on-1 rush didn’t net anything as Andrew Shaw’s pass narrowly evaded Andrew Desjardins, and Patrick Sharp’s shot on a rush went just wide and then was prevented from going in off a rebound by an alert Bishop.

With about three minutes to go in the period, the Blackhawks finally got on the board. Patrick Kane made the play happen as he stopped just inside the blue line to let the play catch up to him, and a pinching Keith fired in a shot that was stopped by Bishop. Undaunted, the defenseman collected his own rebound and flipped a shot past the goaltender to make it a 1-0 game.

The Blackhawks got a power play late in the period, and they narrowly missed expanding their lead. Brent Seabrook rang a shot loudly off the post off a point slap shot, and Andrew Shaw nearly collected the rebound in front. Neither shot went in, and the Hawks maintained their narrow edge with a period to play.

The Blackhawks were unable to score on their power play early in the third period, and the Lightning came out firing with all guns blazing. Crawford made a couple of huge saves to start the period, including yet another Stamkos opportunity. 

A couple of close calls hit the Blackhawks as the period went on, but both passed by without incident. Jonathan Toews took a skate blade up near his face, but he was able to stay in the game. Marcus Kruger followed that up by being tangled up with Ondrej Palat, but after a short respite in the locker room, he returned to the ice. 

After more furious back and forth action, the Blackhawks scored a critical insurance goal with about five minutes to go. After a couple of tic-tac-toe passes, Kane got the puck on his stick and fired home a shot past Bishop to give the Hawks a 2-0 advantage. 

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