After it was over, after his team had dropped a gut-wrenching 4-3 overtime decision to Chicago, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette lavished praise on the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.

"I would like to congratulate them. They had a terrific season. They had a terrific playoff run, and they played well in the Final," Laviolette said. "They're a strong offensive team. They're as fast defensively as they are offensively. And it was challenging."

Patrick Kane had the game-winner and two assists as the Hawks became the first team to win the Cup in overtime since New Jersey did it against Dallas in 2000.

"I don't think they got to this point and went through the teams that they went through by chance," Laviolette since of the Hawks. "They have a good game. It's attacking offensively. It's tough defensively to penetrate. We didn't get as many looks as we would like. They're a tight defensive team. I mean, they're fast both ways."

Record crowd

Game 6 attendance was 20,327. The Flyers said that set a team record for single-game home attendance and a single-season record of 1,020,699 during the 2009-10 season at the Wachovia Center.

Toews wins Conn Smythe

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP, savored Chicago's first Cup since 1961.

"I was just hoping to God it was just an actual goal," Toews said, referring to Kane's overtime goal.

Kane and his linemates seemed to be the only players on the ice who knew the puck found the side of the net. The goal light never went on.

"We knew from day one of this season we had the potential to do it," said Toews. "To realize our goal is amazing."

Carcillo sits

Flyers winger Dan Carcillo was a healthy scratch for the third straight game - and the sixth time in the last eight games.

"You play all year and then you get to this point and you're not in the lineup, it's obviously hard," Carcillo said. "It's a lot harder than playing, I'll tell you that much."

Record setter

Chris Pronger's assist in the first period of the 4-3 overtime loss to Chicago enabled him to tie Doug Crossman's Flyers playoff record for points by a defenseman. Crossman had 18 points in 1987.

Strong start for Hawks

"We're confident if we play the way we can, we'll be able to force a Game 7," Flyers winger Simon Gagne said after the morning skate.

Problem was, the Blackhawks played the first period as if it was a carryover from their 7-4 win in Game 5. The Hawks dominated the first 20 minutes, outshooting the Flyers, 17-7.

The Flyers were fortunate to leave the ice tied, 1-1, after the opening period. They got a power-play goal from Scott Hartnell with 26.5 seconds left in the period to draw even.

Before the game, coach Peter Laviolette said: "I believe we're comfortable here because this is our sixth time facing elimination."

He was counting the regular-season finale against the Rangers and the four games against Boston in the conference semifinals.

Laviolette liked his team's demeanor approaching the game.

"You know, everybody should be excited," he said. "It's a fine line that you're walking between grabbing the energy and the excitement and nerves. . . . You don't want to carry that pressure with you, because if you do, you won't allow yourself to be great. If my players are saying they're excited, then those are good words. They should be excited. They worked hard to get to this point."

Homer series

Home clubs entered Wednesday 5-0 for the second straight year in the Finals.

Last season, the home teams won the first six games before Pittsburgh won Game 7 in Detroit.

Numbers Dept.

When he scored in the first period Wednesday, Hartnell had four goals in the series, tops on both teams at the time. He ended with five goals. . . . The Flyers ended 4-1 in playoff elimination games this year, outscoring their opponents, 18-12 in those contests. . . . The Flyers have a 17-18 lifetime Game 6 record. They are 6-10 in Game 6 when trailing in a series, three games to two. . . . The Flyers own a 13-4 series record when winning Game 6, and they have an 8-6 lifetime record in Game 7s. . . . Entering Game 6, the Flyers had a series edge in shots (155-148), hits (197-169), and blocked shots (90-71); the Hawks had won more face-offs (193-162).

Breakaways

The Flyers will not have a selection in the June 25-26 NHL draft until the fourth round. Their first- and third-round picks went to Anaheim in the Pronger trade, and the second-rounder went to Los Angeles in a 2008 trade that sent Denis Gauthier to the Kings for Ned Lukacevic and Patrik Hersley. The third-round pick was conditional on the Flyers' reaching the Stanley Cup Finals this season. . . . Michael Leighton is the first goalie to be pulled from the Finals in two games since Minnesota's Jon Casey in 1991.

Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at 215-854-5181 or scarchidi@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BroadStBull.