Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews sat on the bench in the third period of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final but didn’t play.
There was plenty of speculation that Toews was ailing with an upper-body injury, that he would be limited for Monday night’s Game 6 — if he played at all.
But the resilient center not only showed up, he potted a goal and had an assist as the Blackhawks rallied to win, 3-2, and claim the 2013 Stanley Cup championship.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling and the guys deserved those bounces at the end, we worked so hard for it,’’ said Toews, who finished the night with one shot on net and a 60 percent success rate in the faceoff circle (12 of 20). “It’s an unbelievable feeling to be back here. We knew that this was going to be the type of game we had to play. We knew it was going to be the toughest of the series. They came out flying and we just stuck with it. You never know what can happen. You saw what happened at the end, two quick goals for the win, it’s an unbelievable feeling.’’
The Bruins dominated the first period but had just a 1-0 lead to show for it. It was Toews’s unassisted goal at 4:24 of the second that pulled Chicago even. After Boston went ahead, 2-1, in the third, it was Toews who set up the equalizer by Bryan Bickell with 1:16 remaining in regulation.
“We’ve been in situations where we outplayed them in the first period and they hung in there, too, so we wanted to do the same and just play a patient game the way we did,’’ said Toews. “It’s awesome, we’re going home, we got the Cup, we worked hard for it all year and we’re going to go party with the city of Chicago.’’
The turning point of the series was when the Blackhawks were down, two games to one, and coach Joel Quenneville reunited Toews and Patrick Kane and the result was three straight victories.
“It’s like old times, we always pick up where we left off when we play together,’’ said Toews. “It’s great that we had the success we did playing with [Bickell]. It helped our team out so that’s what we needed to do.’’
Toews became the first Blackhawks captain to lead his team to a pair of Stanley Cups.
“I’m absolutely blessed to be surrounded with great guys, a great coaching staff and an unbelievable organization,’’ he said. “It’s a special group, a special team and they deserve it more than anybody.’’
The 17-second span between Chicago’s second and third goals was the second-fastest two goals ever scored against the Bruins in a playoff game. The fastest two goals were scored by Montreal in a six-second span on April 21, 1994 . . . It was Chicago’s fourth Cup Final to be decided in six games and the team is 3-1 in that span.
Chicago’s Brent Seabrook, who scored in overtime to win Game 4, is the fifth defenseman in NHL history to record two overtime goals in one playoff season. Others to do so: Detroit’s Leo Reise Jr. (1950), Chicago’s Chris Chelios (1995), Carolina’s Niclas Wallin (2002), and Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer (2007). Seabrook’s other OT winner came in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals to help complete Chicago’s comeback from a 3-1 series deficit against Detroit . . . In Stanley Cup Final history, the winner of Game 5 when the series was tied, 2-2, has now captured the Cup 16 of 23 times . . . Bickell finished the playoffs 9-8—17, two points astern of Patrick Kane (9-10—19) for the team lead. Patrick Sharp led the NHL with 10 postseason goals.
Michael Vega of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at email@example.com.