With a thrilling double-overtime victory by the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, the stage was set for a matchup of two Original Six teams in the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. The series-clinching win did not come easy, as the Los Angeles Kings refused to give up their bid to repeat, coming back from a late deficit to tie the game with an unlikely goal with only seconds remaining in regulation; however, Patrick Kane’s double-overtime goal—his third of the game—put the final nail in the coffin of the defending champion Kings and sent his team to its second championship berth in four years.
Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins secured their second trip to the Cup in three years with a win in a much less eventful series: a four-game sweep over the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins. Boston managed to outscore Pittsburgh, 12-2, over the four-game stretch, and, incredibly, completely shut out the Pens’ powerful quartet of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jarome Iginla, and Kris Letang, not allowing any of the stars to tally even a single point over the course of the series.
While that performance proved that the Bruins are more than capable of shutting down their opponents’ primary scoring options, they will certainly have their hands full trying to repeat that feat against the Blackhawks, whose loaded arsenal of offensive weapons includes Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, and Andrew Shaw, among many others. The Bruins are not without star power themselves, as center David Krejci is the leading point scorer in the 2013 NHL Playoffs.
Regardless of how the teams’ stars fare, it is likely that goals will be at a premium in this series, as each team—not coincidentally—boasts one of the postseason’s top two goalies. Chicago’s Corey Crawford has been a vacuum between the pipes, allowing a playoff-best 1.74 goals per game thus far, while Boston’s Tuukka Rask is right behind him, with a 1.75 mark through three rounds.
The upcoming tilt between two of the NHL’s biggest markets will be the first time Original Six teams have met in the Finals since 1979, when the Montreal Canadiens defeated the New York Rangers in five games. Check out our preview of the historic showdown below, and visit the Vivid Seats marketplace to purchase your Stanley Cup Finals tickets to be there live as these recent champions battle for the chance to once again hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup in 2013.
2013 Stanley Cup Finals Schedule
United Center in Chicago, Ill. – (Game 1: June 12; Game 2: June 15; Game 5: June 22; Game 7: June 26)
TD Garden in Boston, Mass. – (Game 3: June 17; Game 4: June 19; Game 6: June 24)
Last Meeting: Oct. 15, 2011, Boston won, 3-2, at Chicago
Blackhawks: 77 points (36-7) | Bruins: 62 points (28-14)
Road to the Cup
Blackhawks: Minnesota Wild (4-1) | Detroit Red Wings (4-3) | Los Angeles Kings (4-1)
Bruins: Toronto Maple Leafs (4-3) | New York Rangers (4-1) | Pittsburgh Penguins (4-0)
Postseason Leaders (Total)
Points: Blackhawks — Hossa, Sharp, Kane (14) | Bruins — Krejci (21)
Goals: Blackhawks — Bryan Bickell, Sharp (8) | Bruins — Krejci (9)
Assists: Blackhawks — Duncan Keith (9) | Bruins — Krejci (12)
Power Play Chances
These squads were both among the top four in the league during the regular season in penalty-killing percentage, and that success has carried over to the playoffs, where opponents have struggled to find the back of the net in man-advantage situations. During the postseason, the Blackhawks have only allowed three goals in 58 power-play opportunities, good for a playoff-best penalty-killing rate of 94.8 percent. The Bruins have been similarly impressive in thwarting opponents’ power-play chances in the postseason, recently shutting out the high-powered Penguins in all 15 of their chances. The 2013 Stanley Cup appears as if it will be decided at even strength.