The 2010 Stanley Cup Final was a battle of two franchises looking to break through after lengthy championship droughts. The Chicago Blackhawks
, an Original Six franchise, had not won a Stanley Cup since 1961 -- the longest active drought in the NHL. Their opponent, the Philadelphia Flyers
, had not won the Cup since the franchise's back-to-back titles in 1974 and 1975.
Philadelphia's run to the Cup Final was one of the more memorable in history, as the Flyers accomplished the feat as the East's No. 7 seed and also by becoming the third team in League history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit to win a playoff series. But with Chicago holding home ice heading into the series, the Flyers were faced with their greatest task yet in trying to contain the star-studded Blackhawks, who were coming off an impressive sweep of the West's top team, the San Jose Sharks
. The home team held serve through the first five games, setting up a dramatic Game 6 in Philadelphia with Chicago leading the series, 3-2.
Game 6 began with Chicago and Philly trading goals as Dustin Byfuglien
opened the scoring and Scott Hartnell
notched the equalizer with 27 seconds to go in the opening period. Then the orange-clad crowd caught fire when Danny Briere
gave Philly a 2-1 lead at the 8:00 mark in the second. But as they had all series long, the Blackhawks' young core fueled a scoring surge. Patrick Sharp
and Andrew Ladd
scored to give Chicago a 3-2 advantage after 40 minutes. The third period was a back-and-forth battle with strong goaltending by both Philadelphia's Michael Leighton
and Chicago rookie Antti Niemi
. With time running out on the Flyers' season, Hartnell rose to the occasion again, tallying his second goal of the game with just under four minutes left in the third.
That sent the game to overtime, where 21-year-old Patrick Kane
cemented his place in Chicago sports history with the game-winning goal to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory and their first Cup in 49 years. For powering the Blackhawks offensively and defensively throughout the postseason, Chicago captain Jonathan Toews
took home the Conn Smythe Trophy.