THE Chicago Blackhawks have joined the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals, featuring Original Six franchises for the first time since 1979.
Chicago eliminated the defending champion Los Angeles Kings with a 4-3 double-overtime win Saturday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. Boston finished off a sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night in the Eastern Conference finals.
The league hasn't had two of its oldest franchises playing for a championship since Montreal beat the New York Rangers in five games 24 years ago, winning its fourth straight title. Those Canadiens were led by coach Scotty Bowman, who now works as a senior advisor for the Blackhawks, whose general manager is his son, Stan.
The Blackhawks will have home-ice advantage in their first post-season matchup with the Bruins since 1978, when Boston won an opening-round series.
Game 1 is Wednesday night in Chicago.
The Blackhawks and Bruins didn't meet during the lockout-shortened season because there weren't any interconference games.
They haven't faced each other since Oct. 15, 2011, when the Bruins won 3-2 in Chicago with Tyler Seguin scoring the only goal of a shootout while goaltender Tim Thomas denied Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp.
Boston hoisted the Cup in 2011 for the first time since 1972. The Blackhawks won it all in 2010 for the first time 1961.
Both teams have many of the same skaters they had on their recent championship teams, and both were on the brink of being bounced earlier in the post-season.
Chicago rallied from a 3-1 deficit in its second-round series against the Detroit Red Wings, which entered the third period of Game 6 at home with the lead before the Blackhawks scored a flurry of goals to win.
The Bruins led Toronto 3-1 in the opening round before being pushed to a Game 7 in which they trailed by three goals with less than 11 minutes left in the third period.
-- The Associated Press