Blackhawks four wins away from Stanley Cup title

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

The Chicago Blackhawks begin their quest at earning another spot on Lord Stanley’s Cup tonight (Wednesday, June 12) at the United Center when they face off against the Boston Bruins. The two teams begin a best-of-seven-game series at 7 p.m. to determine who will get their names engraved on the most prestigious trophy in all of sports.

After surviving a series that went all seven games with their long-time rival, the Detroit Red Wings, the Chicago Blackhawks dispatched the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings, in five games. Both of those series ended with Chicago game-winning goals coming in overtime periods.

Brian Seabrook ended the Red Wings’ season when he hit the back of the net 3:35 into the overtime period in game seven of the Western Conference Semifinal series. Patrick Kane scored his third goal of the night 11:40 into the second overtime period of game five, sending the Kings back to L.A. waiting for next year. Kane’s hat trick secured the Western Conference championship for Chicago.

Kane’s heroics were reminiscent of his game six overtime winner against the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2010 finals, the last time Chicago won the Stanley Cup. “Right now, it feels like the best,” Kane said when asked to rank his performance. “I think June 10 or June 9 a few years ago was also a good night. But right now, I think it’s almost like I’m in a different zone, like in the Twilight Zone or something. I’m kind of out of it. It’s definitely a good feeling, though.”

This is the first time since 1979 that two of the original six NHL teams will face one another in the finals. The last time, the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Rangers. This will be the first time in league history that the Blackhawks and the Bruins have faced one another in the finals.

Here’s the full schedule for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final (all times Central):

Game 1: Wednesday, June 12, at Chicago, 7 p.m.

Game 2: Saturday, June 15, at Chicago, 7 p.m.

Game 3: Monday, June 17, at Boston, 7 p.m.

Game 4: Wednesday, June 19, at Boston, 7 p.m.

Game 5: Saturday, June 22, at Chicago, 7 p.m.

Game 6: Monday, June 24, at Boston, 7 p.m.

Game 7: Wednesday, June 26, at Chicago, 7 p.m.

(Note: Games 5-7 if necessary)

From the June 12-18, 2013, issue

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