PHT’s top 13 of ’13: ‘Hawks win Cup in dramatic fashion

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Seventeen seconds. That’s all it took.

Those few, precious ticks of the clock were enough for the Chicago Blackhawks to orchestrate the most stunning comeback in Stanley Cup Final history, erasing Boston’s 2-1 lead in Game 6 to hoist Lord Stanley’s mug for the second time in four seasons.

“This goal, this ending,” Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville said following the game. “Nobody saw it coming.”

No, they didn’t. A quick refresher of how it all went down:

From a historical standpoint, the goals from Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland will stand for a long time. Bolland etched his name in the record books by scoring the latest Cup-winning goal in regulation time — Boston’s Bill Carson held the previous mark, tallying with 1:58 left in the deciding game of the 1929 Final — and with that, the ‘Hawks became the first team in NHL history to win a Cup-clinching game by overcoming a deficit in the final two minutes.

From a personal standpoint, the game was significant as well. Brough and I were supposed to go to Chicago in the event of a Game 7. When Boston’s Milan Lucic scored to give his team a 2-1 lead with under eight minutes left, I went ahead and booked flights to the Windy City and started looking at hotels on Mag Mile — because hey, no way the Bruins were going to blow this in Boston.

Right?

Wrong.

Just a short while after patting myself on the back for making travel arrangements so quickly (and efficiently!) I watched in stunned silence as the ‘Hawks put together one of the greatest, wildest and most improbable comebacks in the history of sports. I was left to contemplate exactly what I just saw.

I was also left with an airline voucher and one free continental breakfast.

That anecdote sums up the ’13 Stanley Cup playoffs pretty well, in that it was dumb to expect the expected. This was the same postseason, after all, in which Boston rallied from a 4-1 deficit in Game 7 of the first round to beat Toronto; Chicago thought they had the go-ahead goal late in Game 7 of the Detroit series, only to have it controversially waved off; the high-octane Penguins scored two measly goals and got swept in the Eastern Conference finals.

Chicago winning the way it did just fit, for lack of a better term. It was wild, it was unpredictable and it was unforgettable. The perfect end to a crazy postseason.

Well, unless you’re a Bruins fan.

Lightning give Vasilevskiy the hook after very rare Jurco goal

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By just about any measure, Monday’s been lousy to Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

He was pulled with a few minutes remaining in the first period after Chicago Blackhawks built a 3-1 lead, scoring those three goals on just eight shots on net.

You could summarize Vasilevskiy’s awful start by those numbers, or by how rare the 3-1 goal was for the scorer.

Tomas Jurco failed to score a goal or an assist in 16 games with the Red Wings, then went pointless in nine more games with Chicago before finally scoring his first goal of the season on Monday.

Now, Jon Cooper didn’t pull Vasilevskiy because Jurco scored that tally. Still, it rubs a little extra salt in his wounds all things considered.

Coach Q thinks Anisimov will be back by playoffs for Blackhawks

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The bad news is that Artem Anisimov seems likely to miss all – or at least most – of the regular season for the Chicago Blackhawks with his lower-body injury.

The good? Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville believes that Anisimov will be ready once the playoffs swing into motion, as the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus reports.

Anisimov was hurt when he got tangled up with Canadiens forward Alex Radulov on March 14:

The Blackhawks have been filling Anisimov’s typical spot alongside Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin with Ryan Hartman and Nick Schmaltz lately. There have been flashes of brilliance with Schmaltz, but Chicago would probably feel most confident with Anisimov back in his familiar place.

Chicago’s Central lead is pretty secure over the Minnesota Wild at the moment, which likely reduces motivation to rush Anisimov back before he’s truly ready. The Blackhawks close out their regular season on April 8, so there’s still time for him to heal up.

Ducks demote Enroth, so Gibson’s close to a return

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The Anaheim Ducks are flying high – er, waddling with some swagger? – right now thanks to Jonathan Bernier‘s somewhat shocking turnaround, but the pending return of John Gibson is promising.

(Especially since the Ducks will likely want him to shake off some rust before the playoffs begin.)

While it’s not clear if he’s exactly 100 percent healthy just yet, the Ducks sending Jhonas Enroth back to the AHL is a strong sign that Gibson is close.

Enroth actually never got a shot to start for the Ducks, as his last NHL appearance came on Nov. 30, closing off his ill-fated run with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Considering that Enroth was once a fairly hot commodity as at least a promising backup, it will be interesting to see how his 2017-18 season pans out. Will he get more or less of a chance than he received this season?

Bernier, meanwhile, is richly rewarding the Ducks for sticking with him.

He’s provided them with a Vezina-caliber March: 9-1-1, 1.71 GAA and .943 save percentage with one shutout. You almost wonder if there’s at least some potential for a goalie controversy if Gibson stumbles whenever he gets back into action … but hey, having two good goalies to choose from is better than none.

(Which was the scenario that must have scared the Ducks when Gibson got hurt in the first place.)

WATCH LIVE: Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning

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The Tampa Bay Lightning almost certainly haven’t faced the Chicago Blackhawks in a game this important since the two teams were vying for a Stanley Cup.

While the Blackhawks have already punched their ticket to the postseason and are merely trying to pad their lead in the Central Division, the Bolts are fighting for their playoff lives. At the moment, they rank three points behind the Boston Bruins for the final spot in the East. With a game in hand, they can make up a lot of ground tonight.

With all of that in mind, it should be an entertaining contest. You can check it out on NBCSN, watch online or via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.