In 2015, the Blackhawks were looking to win their third championship in six seasons, cementing themselves as a modern-day dynasty. To do that, they’d have to defeat their toughest challenger yet in the Stanley Cup Final: the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The 2014-15 Blackhawks were perhaps the deepest of this modern era, and were no doubt heavily favored to win the Stanley Cup from the start. After easily downing the Nashville Predators and sweeping Minnesota, the Blackhawks beat Anaheim in a back and forth series to secure a trip to the Final.
The Tampa Bay Lightning were led by Steven Stamkos, and also had up-and-coming stars in Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov. This was going to be a challenge for the Hawks, but in the end, it was one that the team was definitely up to.
The Blackhawks went into Game 6 leading the series 3-2, giving them the chance to win the Cup on home ice, a feat they hadn’t accomplished since 1938. The game was mostly deadlocked through the first half until Duncan Keith found the back of the net at the end of the second period.
Still, Chicago was only leading 1-0, and Tampa Bay could’ve easily tied the game and send it to overtime. That was, until Kane found himself on a 2-on-1 with veteran Brad Richards. Goalie Ben Bishop was powerless to stop Kane’s rocket of a one-timer, and the puck fired into the open net to give the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead with just over five minutes remaining.
In the end, Tampa Bay could muster no offensive answer, and Chicago held on to capture their third Stanley Cup in six seasons. If Kane hadn’t come in clutch with his late goal, perhaps the Lightning could’ve tied the game, or even won it. Thankfully, thanks to the dutiful performance of the Blackhawks’ star, we never got the chance to find out, as the team was much more apt to hoist Lord Stanley.