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Best Stanley Cup-clinching game debated by NHL.com panel

Blackhawks' rally against Bruins in 2013 among recent classics to air on NBCSN 'Hockey Week in America'

by NHL.com @NHLdotcom

The NHL season has been paused because of concerns about the coronavirus, and NBCSN will try to fill the void by reliving some of the best games and moments from the past 12 years.

"Hockey Week in America" started Monday and includes 12 hours of programming each day. Thursday will feature four of the best Stanley Cup-clinching games, beginning with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 of the 2009 Cup Final at 3 p.m. ET. The network will also air Game 6 of the 2010 Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers at 5 p.m. ET, Game 6 of the 2013 Cup Final between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins at 7 p.m. ET, and Game 5 of the 2018 Cup Final between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights at 9 p.m. ET. The Penguins-Red Wings game will be rebroadcast at 11 p.m. ET, and the Blackhawks-Flyers game will be shown again at 1 a.m. ET Friday. Notable Stanley Cup Playoff performances will air Friday, and the best games of the Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby rivalry will be broadcast on Saturday. Monday was the best Game 7 overtime thrillers, Tuesday was the best rivalry playoff games, and Wednesday was notable NHL outdoor games.

NHL.com asked three of its writers to pick their favorite game from among the field each day. Today, the best Stanley-Cup clinching game:

 

Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

Honestly, I'm still stunned there wasn't a Game 7 in 2013 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins, which is what makes Game 6 of that series my choice. I remember those moments viscerally, sitting in the press box in TD Garden, about to close my laptop, getting ready to head down to the dressing room, thinking about my flight to Chicago the next day. For days, I felt like I was in the wrong place. How was the series over? Wasn't there supposed to be a Game 7? What happened? With less than two minutes remaining in Game 6, the Bruins held a 2-1 lead on the strength of a third-period goal by Milan Lucic at 12:11. Then, Bryan Bickell scored to tie it with 1:16 left. Before anyone had time to process, Dave Bolland scored 17 seconds later. The Blackhawks won the Cup. The Bruins' season was over. I can't believe it, even now.

Video: 2013 Cup Final, Gm6: Late goals propel Hawks to Cup

 

Tom Gulitti, staff writer

Although the Washington Capitals led the best-of-7 series 3-1 after winning Games 2, 3 and 4, some fans who experienced so much disappointment during the their first 42 NHL seasons following the Capitals still wondered if Alex Ovechkin and Co. were really going to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in 2018 with a victory in Game 5 against the Vegas Golden Knights. As difficult as it had been for visitors to win at T-Mobile Arena that season (the Golden Knights were 6-1 at home in the Stanley Cup Playoffs before the Capitals' 3-2 win there in Game 2), many believed there would be a Game 6 in Washington. But the Capitals had other plans; Devante Smith-Pelly tied it 3-3 at 9:52 of the third period before Lars Eller swept a loose puck past Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to give Washington a 4-3 lead with 7:37 remaining. Eller won the final face-off with 0.6 seconds left to kick off an epic celebration the Capitals would have in the streets and fountains of Washington. Everyone knew Ovechkin, the Capitals captain, would hand the Cup to longtime teammate Nicklas Backstrom first, but I waited in the press box to watch that moment before heading down to ice level.

Video: WSH@VGK, Gm5: Capitals presented with Stanley Cup

 

Tracey Myers, staff writer

I know there's a lot of shock and awe out there that I'm choosing the same game as Amalie. My memories of that Game 6 are also ingrained, albeit a bit different covering the Blackhawks' side of things. I was sitting downstairs typing away with Boston up 2-1 in the waning moments. I heard the crowd roar, but no horn (a lot of Blackhawks fans were there that night), then watching the tape-delayed broadcast and seeing Bickell score the game-tying goal. A few seconds later (oh, yeah, 17 to be exact), another crowd roar, but no horn. It was Bolland's winning goal. The craziness of the situation didn't really hit me until I went out on the ice to interview the Blackhawks. At that point, you go to the first guy you can find. There was defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, bent forward, hands resting on his legs with a look of wide-eyed disbelief on his face. He figured the series was headed to Game 7 back in Chicago too. It was hockey's version of the old Alcoa Fantastic Finishes of the NHL, and it was tremendous to witness.

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