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Top Chicago Blackhawks Playoff Wins: Cup No. 3

By Colin Likas

Ranking Chicago Blackhawks wins that directly led the team to a Stanley Cup is pretty dang hard. Everyone has a different opinion about why one of the three Cup wins since 2010 was more memorable than the other two. And at the end of the day, all three Cup-clinching wins were totally awesome.

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But for the purpose of continuing this countdown, which is looking at top Blackhawks postseason wins under Joel Quenneville, we’ve got to rank the wins that gave the Blackhawks their Cups. And we’ll start with the most recent one, despite the history attached to it.

Note: Check out the previous entries in this series at the end of this post.

No. 3: 2015 Stanley Cup Final, Game 6

Chicago Blackhawks 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 0

We all remember what the atmosphere in and around Chicago was like ahead of this game. The same could be said where ever there were pockets of Blackhawks fans. The first chance to win the Cup on home ice since the 1930s. A third Cup in six seasons. What a golden opportunity.

As if this series needed added excitement. The two teams had played some crazy-tight games in the five previous outings, with each one being decided by a single goal. This one was more or less the same, although the Blackhawks managed a huge two-goal edge by the time it was over.

The first good chance, however, went to Tampa Bay. Steven Stamkos wound up with just one assist in the six-game series, but he came awful close to some goals in this crucial game. He rang a shot off one of the posts behind Corey Crawford about eight minutes in to grab the attention of those at the United Center.

Crow had to turn away another Tampa chance a short time later when Stamkos threw a lead pass to Matt Carle at the doorstep, but Crow came out to challenge and turned the puck away.

The Blackhawks had their chances in the first period as well. There were only four penalties called in the game — three against the Lightning — and Cedric Paquette’s tripping minor set the Blackhawks up midway through the opening period. Both Brent Seabrook and Marian Hossa had good chances, but they couldn’t find the twine. Ryan Callahan and Paquette combined for a nice chance a short time after that, but Paquette was shut down by Crawford.

The second period saw Stamkos up to his old tricks, as he broke away off a clearing attempt by one of his teammates. Stamkos slowed up big time just before getting to Crawford, then got in too tight and couldn’t shove the puck past the outstretched right pad of Crow. The save brought the crowd to its feet, and that was the best chance the Lightning would have the rest of the way.

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  • The Blackhawks started to ramp of their offensive intensity as the second period went on, with the fourth line of Andrew Desjardins, Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw getting some bids. Patrick Sharp also had in-close opportunities down the line.

    The first scoring play of the game started in Chicago’s defensive zone, as Brandon Saad stripped Paquette of the puck and flipped it to Brad Richards, who sent it to Patrick Kane just inside the blue line. Kane showed incredible patience in waiting for Duncan Keith to enter the zone, and the defenseman accepted a pass unchallenged. After his first shot was stopped by Ben Bishop, Keith followed up and slapped home the rebound high over Bishop’s left shoulder, giving Chicago the only goal it would need and sending the Madhouse crowd into a frenzy with less than three minutes to go in the second.

    Seabrook tried to take the Blackhawks into the locker room on a huge emotional high with less than 10 seconds to go, but his shot from the blue line hit the post, and the Blackhawks would carry the slimmest of leads into the third.

    Tampa Bay never really got close to tying this one up, even if all of its scoring attempts in the third brought gasps from the crowd and those at home (completely understandable). Chicago put it out of reach, however, with less than six minutes to play, as the Blackhawks turned around a Lightning offensive possession and went off on a 3-on-2. Saad carried the puck into the offensive zone and dropped it to Richards, who waited all day before doing anything. For all intents and purposes, it looked like he’d eventually take the shot. Instead, he threw it cross-ice to Kane for a one-timer that beat Bishop.

    If the UC crowd had exploded after the first goal, what the second goal produced couldn’t even be described. The fans all knew at that point. Of course, the Blackhawks had given up series of goals in short order before, but this night was different. The Blackhawks weren’t going to give this lead up. They were going to win a Stanley Cup on their home ice.

    Crow had to make some saves when Desjardins committed the only Chicago penalty late in the third, but from there it was a countdown to zero on the clock. It couldn’t get there soon enough.

    The lasting image immediately after the clock hit zero was Crawford throwing off his equipment and screaming into the air as he was wrapped up in a hug by Shaw and Jonathan Toews. The crowd noise was deafening. It was likely the same in bars and homes filled with Blackhawks fans all over the nation. The Blackhawks were on top of the world. Again.

    The Conn Smythe went to Keith for his sometimes sub-human performance throughout the postseason. Toews raised the Cup first, then handed it off to veterans Kimmo Timonen and Richards. Not even a terrible storm, one that kept the trophies from arriving at the UC on time, could keep the Blackhawks and their fans from celebrating. The party raged on into the night and next days. As it should have.

    Three in six years. Will it ever be repeated? If there’s any team that could try, it’d be the Blackhawks.

    Previous entries

    No. 4 | No. 5 | No. 6 | No. 7 | No. 8 | No. 9 | No. 10 | No. 11 | No. 12 | No. 13 | No. 14 | No. 15 | No. 16 | No. 17 | No. 18 | No. 19 | No. 20 | No. 21 | No. 22 | No. 23 | No. 24 | No. 25 | No. 26 | No. 27 | No. 28 | No. 29 | No. 30 | No. 31 | No. 32 | No. 33 | No. 34 | No. 35 | No. 36 | No. 37 | No. 38 | No. 39 | No. 40 | No. 41 | No. 42 | No. 43 | No. 44 | No. 45 | No. 46 | No. 47 | No. 48 | No. 49 | No. 50 | No. 51 | No. 52 | No. 53 | No. 54 | No. 55 | No. 56 | No. 57 | No. 58 | No. 59 | No. 60 | No. 61 | No. 62 | No. 63 | No. 64 | No. 65 | No. 66 | No. 67 | No. 68 | No. 69 | No. 70 | No. 71 | No. 72 | No. 73

    Next: 9 Blackhawks Predictions For 2015-16

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