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Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi, of Finland, blocks a shot by the Philadelphia Flyers in the second period of Game 6 of the NHL Stanley Cup hockey finals Wednesday, June 9, 2010, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens)
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi, of Finland, blocks a shot by the Philadelphia Flyers in the second period of Game 6 of the NHL Stanley Cup hockey finals Wednesday, June 9, 2010, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens)

Globe on Hockey

Game 6 breakdown Add to ...

Broadstreet no-shows: Wednesday night proved yet another poor outing for the Flyers' formerly high-scoring trio of Simon Gagne, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, who all went pointless and again were minus players in Game 6. In the series, Philadelphia's nominal first line combined for a total of only six points and a dismal minus-21.

First for a Finn: The Blackhawks rookie netminder Antti Niemi became the first starter from Finland to lead his team to the Stanley Cup on Wednesday night, posting a 16-6 record in the postseason despite a few wobbly outings. Niemi was sharp in Game 6 with 21 saves, and his big win comes as part of a decade-long trend of more and more Finnish netminders making their mark in the NHL.

Sharp shooting: Blackhawks centre Patrick Sharp continued to quietly excel as his team's unsung hero in the finals, scoring Chicago's second goal for his 11th of the playoffs and finishing the game plus-3. In the series, Sharp led all players with a plus-7 rating and logged 18 minutes a night, getting revenge on the team that dealt him away for spare parts in 2005-06.

Second line shines: Philadelphia's second line of Ville Leino, Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell continued to be the only group to get things going for the Flyers in Game 6, scoring all three of their goals and combining for seven points on the night. The trio led the finals in scoring with a combined 30 points, but their star turn wasn't enough to make up for the Flyers' lack of scoring elsewhere.

Chris in the box: Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger took two minor penalties in the first period -- one for holding and the other for highsticking -- and the Blackhawks scored their first goal of the game with him in the box. Philadelphia's top penalty killer, Pronger had taken only two minor penalties in the series' first five games.

Three Stars 1. Patrick Kane, Chicago 2. Ville Leino, Philadelphia 3. Patrick Sharp, Chicago

Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks shakes hands with Chris Pronger #20 of the Philadelphia Flyers after the Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 to win the Stanley Cup in Game Six of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Wachovia Center on June 9, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)



The Hero: Patrick Kane

Oh-so-quiet for almost the entire finale, the Blackhawks young star came up big when it mattered most, capping a messy overtime period with the winning goal four minutes in, beating Michael Leighton from a bad angle for his third goal of the series.

This was Kane's best game of the finals by far, as he finished with three points and a plus-2 rating, a stark contrast to his minus-6 in the series' first five games. His arrival late in the series came after coach Joel Quenneville dropped him from Jonathan Toews's line and was able to get Kane away from Chris Pronger.

The Goat: Michael Leighton

Solid at home all playoffs going into Game 6, the Flyers netminder had allowed only nine goals against in his last six games at Wachovia Center. Wednesday night was his undoing, however, as he was bombarded with 41 shots and allowed two goals that came with an odour -- including Kane's winner.

Unfortunately for Philadelphia, the team's much maligned goaltending finally fell apart in the finals, allowing 10 goals in Games 5 and 6 to hand the Blackhawks the Cup. A career minor-leaguer, Leighton had a .948 save percentage coming into the series but posted a .878 mark in the finals.

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Michael Leighton lets in a goal by Chicago Blackhawks Dustin Byfuglien (not in picture) during the first period in Game 6 of the NHL Stanley Cup final hockey series in Philadelphia, June 9, 2010. REUTERS/Jim Young

Game 6: By the numbers

1 Number of games in the finals that the Flyers out shot the Blackhawks. Chicago out shot Philadelphia 17-7 in the first period of Game 6 and 41-24 overall, continuing a trend that's persisted all season of vastly out shooting their opponents.

29 Playoff points by Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who tied the franchise record for most playoffs points set by Denis Savard in 1985 with his assist on Chicago's first goal.

30 Playoff points by Flyers centre Danny Briere, who broke the franchise record for most playoffs points set by Brian Propp in 1987 with a goal and an assist in Game 6. Briere had 12 points in the Stanley Cup finals, making him the first player to hit double digits in the finals since Brian Leetch in 1994.

47 Number of goals scored in the six games of the finals, an average of 7.83 per game and an indication of how mightily both team's goaltenders struggled throughout. In the 1,230 regular-season games in 2009-10, NHL teams averaged only 5.53 goals per game.

49 Years since the Blackhawks last won the Stanley Cup, the longest drought in the league. Now, the Toronto Maple Leafs, St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings share the longest mark at 43 years.

112 Number of games played since Oct. 2 for Flyers captain Mike Richards and defenceman Chris Pronger, including their gold-medal turn at the Olympics in February. They played all of that hockey -- the most of any player this season -- in a span of only 251 days.

Conn job: Jonathan Toews

After a final series where the Blackhawks got offensive contributions from just about everyone, the captain was rewarded with the playoff MVP award more for his intangibles in the finals than anything else. Toews led Chicago in the series in winning faceoffs, played on the penalty kill and skated in more than 21 minutes a game.

What he didn't do, however, was score a goal in the finals, something the voters decided to overlook given his stellar performance through the first three rounds of the playoffs. The decision came down to Toews and big-minute defenceman Duncan Keith, and it was likely a close one.

Follow on Twitter: @mirtle

 

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