Another year, another NHL season without a Stanley Cup parade in Canada.

The nation's hopes of ending its NHL championship drought were dashed Monday night when the Chicago Blackhawks outgunned the Vancouver Canucks 7-5 and won their second-round playoff series in six games. A Canadian team hasn't hoisted the Cup since the Montreal Canadiens defeated Wayne Gretzky's Los Angeles Kings in 1993.

Canadian teams have had their chances since then. Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa have all made appearances in the NHL final, only to lose to an American club.

The Blackhawks eliminated a Canadian team for the second straight series after dousing the Calgary Flames in the first round.

The Canucks led 5-4 in the third period and looked like they were going to force a decisive Game 7 to be played in Vancouver. But the Blackhawks scored twice in the span of 49 seconds to take the lead before adding the crippling seventh goal.

Patrick Kane led Chicago with three goals while Jonathan Toews scored twice, including the game-winner.

"We had some chances early and I made some saves, but the rest of the way I didn't help my teammates out," said Vancouver goaltender and captain Roberto Luongo, who was near tears in the Canucks' locker-room after the game. "When you let in seven goals, I don't think that's a very good performance."

Vancouver became Canada's only hope of bringing the Cup north of the border after the Canucks swept St. Louis in the first round while Calgary and Montreal were eliminated. The Canucks started strong against the inexperienced Blackhawks, winning the first game of the series at home, 5-3.

But the Blackhawks, the league's youngest team, proved to be too much to handle. They came back from deficits in all four of their wins in the series, includng three times in the decisive sixth game.

"We had a chance to go a long way," said Vancouver forward Daniel Sedin, who had two goals. "That's the most disappointing thing. This was a great opportunity."

The Canadiens were unceremoniously dumped by Boston in four straight games while Calgary fell to the Blackhawks in six.

Canada's chances of winning a championship were cut in half before the playoffs even started, as Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton all failed to make it to the post-season.


With files from The Associated Press