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The Cup also ends Hossa’s quest for his first Stanley Cup ring, as he became the first player to represent three different teams in consecutive seasons. His first two squads — Pittsburgh in 2008 and Detroit in 2009 — lost the Cup.

This time, Hossa got his chance to skate Stanley around the ice.

“It was pretty heavy. Heavier than I expected,” he said. “It was a beautiful feeling.”

The Flyers’ improbable run to the Stanley Cup finals comes to an end just two wins shy of the franchise’s first title since 1975. Philadelphia, who needed a win in a shootout against the Rangers on the final day of the regular season to even qualify for the playoffs, took out No. 2 seed New Jersey in the first round, then rallied from an 0-3 deficit to oust Boston in the second round before dispatching Montreal for the Wales Trophy and the Eastern Conference title.

“I’m proud of our team and the way we compete,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said afterwards. “The way we played, the way we never quit. We never gave up. They kept fighting.”

“It was a good learning experience for us,” Richards told reporters afterwards. “I mean, you have to take out of it what it takes to win. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”

The Flyers — who were 9-1 at home in this year’s playoffs and carried a seven-game home win streak into Game 6 — couldn’t push the series back to Chicago for a decisive Game 7.

It also was the sixth straight trip to the finals for Philadelphia without the Cup after the team won back-to-back titles in 1974 and 1975.

For three of the Blackhawks — Toews, Seabrook and Keith — the victory also capped a season in which they captured the Olympic gold medal in Vancouver for Canada and the Stanley Cup. U.S. silver-medalist Kane also adds a title to his hardware won in February.

It also is Chicago’s first professional sports title since the White Sox won the World Series in 2005.

With Chicago’s drought ending at 49 years, the unwanted title now shifts eastward, as Toronto is now the only of the league’s “Original 6” clubs not to win a Stanley Cup in the expansion era, taking the last pre-expansion Cup in 1967. A pair of the six expansion teams that entered the league in the 1967-68 season  — Los Angeles and St. Louis — have gone 43 years without ever winning the championship.