How the West Was Won: Chicago Blackhawks Head to the Stanley Cup Final

Scott Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

On June 9, 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks were one win away from their first Stanley Cup in 49 years. After a roster purge and two slumping seasons, the Blackhawks are back in the Stanley Cup Final after defeating the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 in two overtimes.

The hero of the game was Patrick Kane. Prior to Game 5, he’d been criticized for his lack of production, and he openly took accountability for that. In Game 4, he scored one of the goals that put the Blackhawks one step closer to playing for the Stanley Cup. In Game 5, it was Kane who scored one of the first two goals that gave the Blackhawks their first lead of the game. His second goal put them ahead for the second time.

But it was in the second overtime, when you could tell players were tired, that magic happened. Fans had lamented about Kane and Jonathan Toews being split up last season, when Kane tried and failed as a center. He stayed on the second line this season and was only reunited with Toews in the postseason and this series. With left in the second overtime, Toews passed to Kane, who ripped the shot from high in the circle. It gave him his second hat trick of his career, the first happening in the second round of the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Vancouver Canucks.

The Blackhawks will now host the Boston Bruins for the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final. If tonight’s game is any indication, it’ll be a series no one will forget.

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