How long as it been since a pair of Original Six teams competed for the Stanley Cup?
The Chicago Blackhawks’ series-clinching 4-3 win over the L.A. Kings in double overtime Saturday night vaulted them into the Stanley Cup Final, where they will face the Boston Bruins beginning Wednesday night in Chicago.
It will be the first time two Original Six teams go head-to-head in the Final since 1979 when the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Rangers for the fourth straight Stanley Cup.
Saturday night’s game in Chicago was a thriller, with Kings center Mike Richards returning from a head injury to send the game into overtime with 9.4 seconds remaining in regulation, and Patrick Kane ending it 11:40 into the second overtime with his third goal of the game.
Here are some newsy notes from Saturday night’s clincher, along with a quick look ahead to what promises to be a classic showdown between the Hawks and B’s:
Pat Trick: Kane’s hat trick – he also gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead in the first period and a 3-2 lead in the third – was the first in a conference final clincher since Wayne Gretzky sent the Kings to the 1993 Final with a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The goal was Kane’s biggest since his Cup-clinching goal in overtime in Game 6 of the 2010 Final in Philadelphia.
It also helped erase the self doubt that went along with scoring just three goals in his first 16 playoff games.
“I expected more from myself," Kane told reporters after the game. "My teammates probably did too. You know, I tried to get back to the basics and wanted the puck, get the puck, try and make plays. That's kind of my attitude right now, I guess, is to do that."
Not again: The Kings were attempting to become the first NHL team to win back-to-back titles since the Red Wings did it in 1997 and 1998.
“You can't be happy with losing,” Jarret Stoll told reporters after the game. “You never are, whether it's the Western Conference Final or Stanley Cup Final or not even making the playoffs. It's that same empty feeling."
History in the making: This will be the seventh time the Bruins and Blackhawks meet in the playoffs. The last came in 1978 Quarterfinals when the Bruins advanced. Based on their first-place finish in the regular season the Hawks will likely enter the Final as favorites, finishing 15 points ahead of the Bruins.