This is the Boston Bruins's nineteenth appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals, seeking their seventh Cup championship overall and their first one since 2011, when they also faced the Presidents Trophy winners, the Vancouver Canucks.
Boston finished the lockout-shortened regular season with 62 points, finishing in second place in the Northeast Division, and the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Throughout the regular season, the Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens were neck-and-neck in the division, but the Bruins lost their last game to the Ottawa Senators, a contest that was postponed until the end of the regular season due to the Boston Marathon bombings. In the first round of the playoffs, Boston rallied from a 4–1 third period deficit in Game 7 to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime. The Bruins then eliminated the New York Rangers in five games, and then swept the top seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference finals.
This is the Chicago Blackhawks twelfth appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals, seeking their fifth Cup championship overall and their first one since 2010.
The Blackhawks began the lockout-shortened regular season by setting the NHL record for most games to start a season without a regulation loss (24). Chicago finally recorded their first regulation loss in their 25th game of the season: a 6–2 defeat to the Colorado Avalanche. The Blackhawks would then finish the regular season with the best record at 77 points, winning their second Presidents' Trophy in team history, as well as the Central Division championship. In the first round of the playoffs, the Blackhawks defeated the Minnesota Wild in five games. Chicago then had to come back from a 3–1 game deficit to defeat the Detroit Red Wings in overtime of Game 7. Then in the conference finals, the Blackhawks defeated the defending 2012 Cup champion Los Angeles Kings in five games. Chicago became the eighth team to win both the Presidents' Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season.
The Blackhawks rallied from a 3–1 third period deficit in Game 1 to defeat the Bruins in triple-overtime, 4–3. This was the 24th longest NHL overtime game, and the fifth longest in the history of the Stanley Cup Finals.Milan Lucic scored at 13:11 of the first period and 00:51 of the second period to give the Bruins a 2–0 lead. At 03:08 of the second period, Chicago rookie Brandon Saad scored his first career playoff goal, ending Boston goalie Tuukka Rask's shutout streak of 149:36 (dating back to the conference finals), and cutting Boston's lead to 2–1. Chicago then had a 5-on-3 for 1:17 midway through the second period, but could not get a shot on goal. The Bruins then increased their lead to 3–1 when Patrice Bergeron scored a power play goal at 06:09 of the third period. But Dave Bolland and Johnny Oduya scored in 4:14 apart to tie the game. In the overtime periods, the Blackhawks were penalized twice for too many men on the ice, but Boston was unable to score on those two ensuing power plays. The game finally ended at 12:08 of the third overtime period when Michal Rozsival's shot from the point deflected off of Bolland, then Andrew Shaw, and past Rask into the Boston net.
The Bruins tied the series with a 2–1 overtime victory in Game 2. This was the third consecutive overtime game for the Blackhawks (dating back to the conference finals), and the second consecutive Cup Finals in which the first two games went into overtime. In the first period, Chicago had 19 shots on goal compared to Boston's 4, but only scored on Patrick Sharp's goal at 11:22. Seventy seconds later, a goal by the Blackhawks' Marian Hossa was disallowed after officials blew the play dead prior to the puck crossing the Bruins' goal line. Boston's Chris Kelly then scored his first goal of the playoffs at 14:58 of the second period to tie the game. After a scoreless third period, Daniel Paille won the game for the Bruins at 13:48 of overtime; the Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook sent the puck around the end boards in the Chicago zone, but Brandon Bollig could not push it out to centre ice, allowing Adam McQuaid to steal the loose puck and feed it to Tyler Seguin, who then passed it to Paille.
Boston goalie Tuukka Rask stopped all 28 Chicago shots in the Bruins' 2–0 victory in Game 3. Daniel Paille scored Boston's first goal at 02:13 of the second period. Patrice Bergeron then scored a power play goal at 14:05 of the second period, just seconds after the Bruins' 5-on-3 advantage expired. The Blackhawks' Marian Hossa was scratched from the game; Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville later said after the game that Hossa did not play due to an upper-body injury.
Brent Seabrook scored at 09:51 of overtime, from the point through traffic, to give the Blackhawks a 6–5 victory in Game 4 to even the series. After only 12 total goals were scored in the first three games, Game 4 featured a series high 11 total goals. In the first period, Chicago's Michal Handzus scored a short-handed goal at 06:48 before Boston's Rich Peverley tied the game on a power play goal at 14:43. Five total goals were then scored in the second period. Jonathan Toews deflected Michal Rozsival's shot into the Boston net at 6:48 to give the Blackhawks a 2–1 lead. Chicago then scored again at 8:41: Bryan Bickell's shot was stopped by Tuukka Rask, but Patrick Kane grabbed the rebound from the other side and shot it into the net before the Boston goalie could recover. Milan Lucic cut the lead, 3–2, at 14:43 after shooting a rebound past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, but Chicago scored right back at 15:32 with Marcus Kruger's goal on a 2-on-1 breakaway. At 17:22, the Bruins scored their second power play goal after Zdeno Chara's shot deflected over the net, hit the glass, then eventually bounced into the crease where Patrice Bergeron tapped it into the net before Crawford could find the puck. In the third period, Bergeron tied the game, 4–4, at 2:05. The Blackhawks then scored their first power play goal of the series with Patrick Sharp's score at 11:19, but Boston answered 55 seconds later with Johnny Boychuk's equalizer. All five Bruins goals were shot to the glove side of Crawford, but the Blackhawks never once trailed in this game.
Patrick Kane scored two goals in the Blackhawks' 3–1 victory in Game 5. Chicago built a 2–0 lead with Kane's goals at 17:27 of the first period and 05:13 of the second. Boston's Zdeno Chara cut the score to 2–1 at 03:40 of the third period, but Chicago goalie Corey Crawford stopped 24 of 25 Bruins shots, and Dave Bolland added an empty net goal in the waning seconds of the game. Boston's Patrice Bergeron left the game in the second period and was later taken to the hospital for observation, while Chicago's Jonathan Toews suffered an upper body injury and did not play in the third period.
In Canada, the series is being televised in English on CBC and in French on the cable network RDS. The NBC Sports Group's coverage in the United States is different than previous seasons: the NBC broadcast network will now televise Game 1 and then the final four games, while the NBC Sports Network will broadcast Games 2 and 3.
Jamal Mayers* played in 19 regular season games and did not play in the playoffs. Daniel Carcillo* played in 23 regular season games and 4 playoff games. They are included in the team picture. *Jimmy Hayes played in 10 regular season games, Ryan Stanton† played in 1 regular season game, Jeremy Morin played in 3 regular season games, Brandon Pirri played in 1 regular season game, Carter Hutton† played in 1 regular season game, Shawn Lalonde played in 1 regular season game, and Henrik Karlsson† did not play in any games. They do not appear in the team picture. It is not yet known if Chicago will petition to have their names on the Stanley Cup.
Bryan Bickell2 was with Chicago when they won the Stanley Cup in 2010. 2013 is the first time his name will appear on the Stanley Cup.