Chicago beat Tampa Bay 2-0 to win Stan­ley Cup

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY AN­DREW SELIG­MAN

The Chicago Black­hawks won their third NHL Stan­ley Cup in six years by beat­ing Tampa Bay 2-0 on Mon­day to take the se­ries 4 games to 2.

Pa­trick Kane and Dun­can Keith scored and this time Chicago clinched the ti­tle at home — some­thing it last did in 1938 — to en­able the party to be­gin im­me­di­ately.

“We won it for each other, for the city,” Black­hawks cap­tain Jonathan Toews said. “In so many ways, win­ning a cham­pi­onship like this in our home city, it re­ally tran­scends the sport. Ev­ery­one wants to be a part of it. It’s amaz­ing.”

Keith, the Black­hawks’ iron man di­rected a dom­i­nant de­fense that shut down Tampa Bay’s high-scor­ing at­tack and also gave Chicago a 1-0 lead when he knocked in his own re­bound with 2:47 left in the sec­ond pe­riod.

Kane made it 2-0 in the third when he scored on a one-time shot on a three-on-two rush with 5:13 left in the game — his first goal of the se­ries. It was the first time in the fi­nal that ei­ther team had a two-goal lead.

Goal­tender Corey Craw­ford, who was pulled from the first-round play­off se­ries against Nashville be­fore re-es­tab­lish­ing him­self as first-choice goalie, had 25 saves in his fifth ca­reer play­off shutout.

Keith was a unan­i­mous se­lec­tion for the Conn Smythe Tro­phy for play­off MVP af­ter he fin­ished with 21 points while play­ing over 700 min­utes in a gru­el­ing post­sea­son.

“It feels so great. You want to keep be­ing a part of these things,” Keith said. “You don’t get these awards with­out be­ing on great teams with great play­ers. I’m just proud to be a part of this group of guys who cares so much and do what­ever it takes.”

It was an ap­pro­pri­ate con­clu­sion to a se­ries full of near misses and close calls that had fans in Chicago and Tampa Bay on the edge of their seats for al­most two weeks. It was only the sec­ond fi­nal to be­gin with five one-goal games, and no team en­joyed a two-goal ad­van­tage un­til an open Kane buried a per­fect pass from Brad Richards at 14:46 of the third.

It was Kane’s first goal of the se­ries, and it touched off a wild cel­e­bra­tion by the fren­zied crowd of 22,424.

“I’d say you have a dy­nasty,” NHL Com­mis­sioner Gary Bettman told the cheer­ing crowd as he pre­sented the tro­phy to the grin­ning Black­hawks.

Ben Bishop kept the Light­ning in the game with 30 saves, fight­ing through some sort of lower-body in­jury that kept him out of Game 4. Led by Bishop and big de­fense­man Vic­tor Hed­man, the Light­ning al­lowed just 13 goals in the se­ries, but it wasn’t enough against the un­flap­pable Black­hawks.

“Our goal scor­ing dried up. It wasn’t for lack of try­ing,” coach Jon Cooper said. “The chances, posts, missed nets, open nets that hit sticks, you need those to go in for you to keep go­ing. Ul­ti­mately they dried up for us.”

Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos fin­ished the play­offs with an eightgame scor­ing drought that likely will haunt him into the off­sea­son. He rung the in­side of the cross­bar on a near miss at 7:50 of the first and was stoned by Craw­ford on a break­away 58 sec­onds into the mid­dle pe­riod.

“It’s so frus­trat­ing es­pe­cially for me not be­ing able to get the job done these last cou­ple games,” Stamkos said. “That’s some­thing you’re go­ing to re­mem­ber for a long time.”

The pair of missed op­por­tu­ni­ties for one of the NHL’s most gifted scor­ers was made costly when the Black­hawks got on the board in the sec­ond.

Keith got a nice pass from Kane in the mid­dle and shot it around Tampa Bay cen­ter Cedric Pa­que­tte. Bishop stopped his first try, but Keith kept skat­ing past Pa­que­tte and flipped in the re­bound at 17:13.

It was the first Stan­ley Cup for Kimmo Ti­mo­nen, who has said he plans to re­tire. The 40-year-old Fin­nish de­fense­man was ac­quired in a trade with Philadelphia in Fe­bru­ary af­ter he missed the start of the sea­son while re­cov­er­ing from blood clots in his leg and lungs.

Af­ter cap­tain Jonathan Toews got the tro­phy from NHL Com­mis­sioner Gary Bettman, he handed it right to Ti­mo­nen, who proudly hoisted it into the air.

“I leave this game as a Stan­ley Cup cham­pion. I can’t ask for any­thing more than that,” Ti­mo­nen said.

AP

1. Chicago Black­hawks’ Dun­can Keith #2 scores past Tampa Bay Light­ning goalie Ben Bishop as Ryan Cal­la­han #24 and Cedric Pa­que­tte #13 watch dur­ing the sec­ond pe­riod in Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal se­ries in Chicago on Mon­day, June 15. 2. Chicago Black­hawks’ head coach Joel Quen­neville hoists the Stan­ley Cup af­ter de­feat­ing the Tampa Bay Light­ning in Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal se­ries in Chicago on Wed­nes­day, June 10. 3. Mem­bers of the Chicago Black­hawks celebrate af­ter de­feat­ing the Tampa Bay Light­ning in Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal se­ries in Chicago on Mon­day.

AP

AP

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