The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup Wednesday night, their third in six years, capping off another incredible NHL postseason.
The Capitals made their triumphant return to the playoffs after a one-year hiatus and looked as if they had exorcised their Game 7 demons with a win over the New York Islanders. Yet, after jumping out to a 3-1 series lead against the New York Rangers, the Caps added another chapter to their disappointing playoff history by losing in seven games.
The Presidents' Trophy winning New York Rangers laid it all on the line for a run this year, but could not even with the conference as they fell to Tampa Bay. The Lightning looked impressive in the Finals going toe to toe with Chicago, but they were fortunate to get that far in the first place after being pushed to the brink by the Detroit Red Wings in the conference quarterfinals.
In the west, meanwhile, former Caps' coach Bruce Boudreau finally got over the second round hump...only to lose the conference finals in Game 7 to Chicago. The Ducks ended the NHL's best feel good story of the playoffs before it even began with a four-game sweep of the Winnipeg Jets.
Ken Hitchcock of St. Louis dealt with his own playoff struggles after another early exit for the Blues. Devan Dubnyk, a goalie few people had heard of and even fewer paid attention to, managed to lead Minnesota to a playoff berth and a first-round upset of the Blues as he stymied St. Louis' potent offense.
How did the Caps stumble? How did Tampa rebound after an earlty struggle with Detroit and how did the road to the Stanley Cup open for the Blackhawks? Relive every series with our playoff recap here to remember all of your favorite story lines of the postseason.