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Welcome home, Stanley!

By Chris Sosa, @redeyesportschi

RedEye

9:01 PM CDT, June 24, 2013

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The Blackhawks are coming home.

As 2013 Stanley Cup champions.

After five-plus thrilling, grueling months of hockey, the Hawks have reclaimed their sport’s ultimate prize. This calls for a parade.

But first the Hawks had to close out the Bruins. And while you wouldn’t think summer heat would dominate the conversation leading up to Monday’s Game 6 in Boston, the fog inside the TD Garden caused by high temperatures outside was too weird to ignore.

Here's how Monday's clinching showdown unfolded, according to who brought the heat.

FIRST PERIOD

Hot: Corey Crawford

The Hawks goaltender did give up a goal, but he also stopped 11 shots. He literally used his head on one save—and his helmet came off.

Hotter: Brent Seabrook

The Hawks' overtime hero from Game 4 came up huge again. This time, he blocked not one but two Boston shots that would have been ticketed for the net. Yeah, the score could have been MUCH worse.

Hottest: Chris Kelly

At 7:19, the Bruins forward buried an easy one on a pass across the crease from Tyler Seguin, giving Boston a 1-0 lead. The Bruins looked like the better offensive team at this point. Not a good sign.

Score: Bruins 1, Blackhawks 0

 

SECOND PERIOD

Hot: Tyler Seguin and Chris Kelly

Yup, these two were causing trouble for the Hawks again. This time they drew a penalty on the combustible Andrew Shaw. Intelligent strategy on their part. Boneheaded reaction on Shaw's part.

Hotter: Tuukka Rask

The Bruins goaltender made "only" eight saves in the period, but the ones he made often were spectacular. His left skate in particular was in the right place at the right time on a Hawks power play. Rask even survived getting plowed by Bryan Bickell—not easy to do.

Hottest: Jonathan Toews

What upper body injury? Toews streaked up the right side and fired it past Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask five-hole at 4:24, tying the game at 1. And Patrick Kane was the perfect decoy on the two-one-one. Toews almost scored again with a few seconds left in the period. You can't keep a good captain down.

Score: Blackhawks 1, Bruins 1

 

THIRD PERIOD

Hot: Milan Lucic

The burly Bruins forward’s fourth goal of the Stanley Cup Final, at 12:11 of the third period, was almost a backbreaker for the Hawks. Key word: Almost.

Hotter: Bryan Bickell

Bickell’s first goal of the Cup Final—and ninth of the playoffs—saved the Blackhawks from overtime. Tip of the cap to Toews, whose nifty pass across the crease set him up.

Hottest: Dave Bolland

You would never call Bolland an offensive stalwart. But who cares?! He scored the winning goal with less than a minute left, and just 17 seconds after Bicks tied it. Wow.

Final score: Blackhawks 3, Bruins 2


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