The Blackhawks didn't make many (if any) changes to the organization during the off-season, though Head Coach Joel Quenneville seemed to be on the hot seat at the start of the lockout-shortened season.
The 48 game shortened season was limited to conference and divisional games only. The Blackhawks did not play any teams from the Eastern Conference until they advanced to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final for the 2nd time in 4 seasons. The Blackhawks played 3 games each against non-divisional teams. Against their own division, the Blackhawks played 4 games against Columbus and Detroit and 5 games against Nashville and St. Louis.
On January 26 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Blackhawks tied a franchise record by starting the season 5–0–0 for the first time since the 1971–72 season. On the very next night, against the Detroit Red Wings, the Blackhawks set a new franchise record by starting the season 6–0–0. On February 19 against the Vancouver Canucks, the Blackhawks tied the NHL record set by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2006–07 season for earning points in the first 16 consecutive games of a season, and beat the Ducks' record (28 points) by 1 point. On February 22 against the San Jose Sharks, the Blackhawks set a new NHL record by earning points in the first 17 consecutive games of a season. On March 5 against the Minnesota Wild, the Blackhawks recorded a franchise record of 10 consecutive wins. The Blackhawks went on to extend both records for first consecutive games with a point to start a season and franchise record for most consecutive wins to 24 games (21–0–3) and 11 wins, respectively. On March 8 against the Colorado Avalanche, the Blackhawks' streak was snapped by a 6–2 loss.
On February 10 against the Nashville Predators, the Blackhawks recorded its first shutout since March 23, 2011, ending its shutout drought after 690 days. The Blackhawks proceeded to record 7 shutouts during the season, tied for first in the league with the St. Louis Blues and the Vancouver Canucks. On March 6 against the Colorado Avalanche, Ray Emery became the first goaltender in NHL history to start a season with 10 straight wins, going 10–0–0. Emery was also the first goaltender in franchise history to record ten consecutive wins at any point in a season, overriding Glenn Hall's streak of nine straight wins from the 1966–67 season. Emery extended both NHL and franchise record to 12 wins (12–0–0) to start the season. The goaltending duo of Corey Crawford and Emery went on to capture the William M. Jennings Trophy for allowing a league low 102 goals during the season. This was the franchise's fourth Jennings Trophy, with the previous three all captured by Ed Belfour.
As a result of the streak, the Blackhawks hold the second longest NHL record for most consecutive games earning a point at 30 games (24–0–6), a streak spanning two seasons, starting from March 27, 2012 of the 2011–12 season. The record stands behind the 1979–80 Philadelphia Flyers who recorded a 35 consecutive games point streak of 25–0–10, all in a single season. The Blackhawks' streak also ranks third for most consecutive games point in a single season at 24 games (21–0–3), behind the 1977–78 Montreal Canadiens at 28 games (23–0–5).
On March 26 against the Calgary Flames, coach Joel Quenneville received his 649th regular season coaching win, surpassing the previous record held by Ron Wilson. Quenneville finished the season with 660 regular season coaching wins, and is ranked sixth among coaches with the most regular season coaching wins, first among active coaches.
On April 7 with a 5–3 win against the Predators, the Blackhawks became the first team to clinch a playoff berth in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, guaranteeing a seventh seed finish in the Western Conference. On April 12 with a 3–2 shootout win against the Red Wings, the Blackhawks won the Central Division, and reserved a third seed finish in the Western Conference. On April 14, a 2–0 shutout win against the Blues guaranteed the Blackhawks a second seed finish in the Western Conference. On April 17, the Blackhawks clinched the number one seed of the Western Conference after the Anaheim Ducks lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets in overtime. On April 24, the Blackhawks clinched the franchise's second Presidents' Trophy in a 4–1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. The win guaranteed the Blackhawks home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
The United Center also recorded its 200th consecutive combined regular season and playoff Blackhawks sell-out streak on March 1 against the Blue Jackets, which began during the 2007–08 season with the game on March 30, 2008 against the Blue Jackets.
Legend: Win (2 points) Loss (0 points) Overtime/shootout loss (1 point)
Just before Game 2 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals at the United Center.
The Blackhawks qualified for the playoff for the fifth consecutive season. As the Presidents' Trophy winner, the Blackhawks have home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The Blackhawks faced the eighth seed Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference Quarterfinals, beating the Wild 4–1 in the best of seven series matchup.
Advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals, the Blackhawks faced the seventh seed Detroit Red Wings. This was the last time these two Original Six faced each other as Western Conference and Central Division opponents, as the Red Wings will move to a different Division and Conference starting in the 2013–14 season. The Blackhawks won the series opener against the Red Wings, but dropped three straight games and faced the prospect of elimination. However, the Blackhawks battled back and won the next two games, pushing the series to a Game 7, and winning the game and the series in overtime. Despite a questionable slash in Game 6 of the series, Blackhawks forward Michael Frolik was awarded a penalty shot against the Red Wings. Frolik successfully converted on the penalty shot against Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard, becoming the first player in NHL playoff history to score twice on penalty shot. Frolik's last successful attempt on penalty shot was against the Vancouver Canucks during the first round of the 2010–11 playoff.
The Blackhawks advanced to the Western Conference Finals, making their third appearance in five seasons, and faced the fifth seed and defending Stanley Cup Champions Los Angeles Kings. The Blackhawks won the first two games of the series at the United Center. The Blackhawks then helped extend the Kings' playoff home win streak to 15–0 by losing Game 3 at the Staples Center. However, the Blackhawks rebounded back in Game 4 at the Staples Center, snapping the Kings' playoff home win streak, before returning to the United Center for Game 5. The Blackhawks eliminated the reigning Stanley Cup Champions in Game 5, which extended into double overtime, and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals. The game ended at 11:40 of the second overtime period with a goal by Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane. Kane also scored a hat trick on the game-winning goal, his second NHL career playoff hat trick.
The Blackhawks clinched their second Stanley Cup Finals berth in four seasons, and faced the 2011 Stanley Cup Champions, the Boston Bruins. This marked the first faceoff of the season between these two teams, due to the lockout induced shortened season and the resulting intra-Conference only matchups during the season. This was also the first time that two Original Six teams have met in the Stanley Cup Finals since 1979 between the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers, and the first time that these two teams have met in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Blackhawks won Game 1 at 12:08 of the third overtime period, which nearly equated to two regulation NHL games. Game 1 went in the history books as the longest NHL game ever played at the United Center, as well as the fifth longest game in Stanley Cup Finals history. The Blackhawks then went on to lose the next two games in overtime and in a shutout, giving the Bruins the lead in the series. The Blackhawks then rebounded back in Game 4 with a high scoring 6–5 overtime win, equalizing the series again. Blackhawks defensemen Brent Seabrook scored the game-winning overtime goal in Game 4, his second in the playoff since Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Red Wings. The Blackhawks then returned to the Unted Center for Game 5, winning 3–1 in regulation, and giving the Blackhawks a 3–2 lead in the series.
The Blackhawks returned to TD Garden for Game 6, and were down 0–1 after 7:19 of play. Blackhawks forward and captain Jonathan Toews then equalized the game at 4:24 of the second period. Both teams were tied going into the third period, but a goal from Bruins forward Milan Lucic at 12:11 of the third period gave the Bruins the lead again. The Blackhawks tried to battle back by pulling their goaltender Corey Crawford to add an extra attacker, which helped forward Bryan Bickell equalize the game again with 1:16 remaining. While many believed that the game would be headed to overtime at that point, Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland scored the game-winning goal 17 seconds later to help the Blackhawks pull a 3–2 win in regulation, eliminate the Bruins and capture the Stanley Cup.
The win gave the Blackhawks their second Stanley Cup in four years, a first for any teams since the salary cap era, and making them the first team since the 2008 Red Wings to clinch both the Presidents' Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same year. Patrick Kane was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP, and became the first American born forward and fourth American born player to receive this award. Kane also became the third consecutive American born player to receive the Conn Smythe after Tim Thomas and Jonathan Quick both goaltenders, from the previous two years. The win also made Blackhawks headcoach Joel Quenneville the only active NHL coach with two Stanley Cups, while also adding a second consecutive Stanley Cup to assistant coach Jamie Kompon's resume, after clinching it the previous season with the Kings. This was also Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa's second Cup in four Stanley Cup Final appearances, and Blackhawks Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations Scotty Bowman's 13th appearance on the Stanley Cup.