BOSTON - Two goals. Seventeen seconds apart. A second Stanley Cup victory in four seasons for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Seventy-six seconds away from defeat and a trip home for a decisive seventh game, Bryan Bickell tied it. Then, while the Bruins were settling in for another overtime in a series that has already had its share, Dave Bolland scored to give Chicago a 3-2 victory in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.
The back-to-back scores in about the time it takes for one good rush down the ice turned a near-certain loss into a championship clincher, stunning the Boston players and their fans and starting the celebration on the Chicago bench with 59 seconds left.
"We thought we were going home for Game 7. You still think you're going to overtime and you're going to try to win it there. Then Bolly scores a huge goal 17 seconds later," said Chicago forward Patrick Kane, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason's most valuable player with nine goals and 10 assists.
"It was the best year of my life, just playing with these guys."
The team that set an NHL record with a 24-game unbeaten streak to start the lockout-shortened season won three straight games after falling behind 2-1 in the best-of-seven finals. Corey Crawford made 23 saves, and Jonathan Toews returned from injury to add a goal and an assist in the first finals between Original Six teams since 1979.
"I still can't believe that finish. Oh my God, we never quit," Crawford said. "I never lost confidence. No one in our room ever did."
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 it with 1:16 to play.
Perhaps the Bruins expected it to go to overtime, as three of the first four games in the series did. They seemed to be caught off-guard on the ensuing faceoff. Chicago skated into the zone, sent a shot on net and after it deflected off Michael Frolik and the post it went right to Bolland, who put it in the net.
Boston goalie Tuukka Rask left the ice for an extra man, but Chicago withstood the Bruins' final push to complete a journey that began with Toews organizing informal workouts while the NHL lockout continued - and ended with the Blackhawks captain holding up the Stanley Cup.
"In 2010, we didn't really know what we were doing," said Toews, who scored his third goal of the playoffs to tie it 1-1 in the second before assisting on Bickell's goal.
"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.
The Bruins got 28 saves from Rask, who was hoping to contribute to an NHL title after serving as Tim Thomas' backup when Boston won it all two years ago.
"It's obviously shocking when you think you have everything under control," Rask said quietly.
The sold-out TD Garden had begun chanting "We want the Cup!" after Milan Lucic's goal put the Bruins up 2-1 with eight minutes left, but it fell silent after their team coughed up the lead.
"Probably toughest for sure, when you know you're a little bit over a minute left and you feel that you've got a chance to get to a Game 7," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "And then those two goals go in quickly."
Most NHL titles
Team Titles Most recent
Montreal 23 1992-93
Toronto 13 1966-67
Detroit 11 2007-08
Boston 6 2010-11
Chicago 5 2012-13
Edmonton 5 1989-90
N.Y. Islanders 4 1982-83
N.Y. Rangers 4 1993-94
Ottawa 4 1926-27