The National Hockey League's Stanley Cup championship gets underway in Chicago Wednesday night, with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins facing off in the first game of the best-of-seven series. It's a classic matchup between two of the NHL's original six teams.
Both teams are recent champs, which is helping passionate hockey fans and players put the bitter labor dispute that almost iced the season behind them.
Yes, the NBA finals are well underway, and yes it's mid-June, but tonight marks Game 1 of the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup championship. A strike-shortened season pushed the finals later into the spring than usual.
As nail-biting hockey fans know well, there has been a lot of drama in this year's playoffs. Last night in the NHL, no different. The Chicago Blackhawks advanced to the semifinals with a thrilling Game 7 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Chicago had the best regular season record in the NHL this year. But as NPR's Mike Pesca reports, that doesn't mean much when your back is against the wall in an elimination game.