Tag: Tampa Bay Lightning

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One

Comeback ‘Hawks: Chicago stuns Tampa Bay with late rally to take Game 1


TAMPA — It took less than two minutes. One hundred and eighteen seconds, to be exact.

That’s all the Chicago Blackhawks needed to turn Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final completely on its head, as Teuvo Teravainen and Antoine Vermette scored 1:58 apart in the third period to earn a 2-1 win and stun the Lightning — and their fans — at Amalie Arena on Wednesday night.

It was a signature comeback win for Chicago, which for the second time this postseason won a game it trailed after two periods. The ‘Hawks also stole home-ice advantage, guaranteeing at least a split in Tampa before heading home to the United Center for Games 3 and 4.

The loss will undoubtedly sting the Bolts. Owners of the NHL’s best offense during the regular season, Tampa Bay took an early first-period lead on Alex Killorn’s slick re-direct, then slowly reverted into a defensive shell.

“We just sat back a little too much,” said Tampa captain Steve Stamkos.

If there was ever a time to trot out the “prevent defense only prevents you from winning” cliché, tonight was that time.

The mantra especially held true in the third period. As the ‘Hawks poured it on, looking to beat Ben Bishop after being stymied for the first 40 minutes, the Lightning played not to lose and went over 13 minutes without a shot on goal in the final frame.

For a series that many expected to be filled with goals and scoring chances, Game 1 didn’t fit the bill. Chicago fired a postseason-low 21 shots on Bishop, while Corey Crawford was forced to make just 22 stops — five of which came in the third period.

As mentioned above, the loss is a stinger for Tampa Bay and it’ll be interesting to see how the club reacts. While it’s only one game and the first of the series, there is some history worth noting — since the Stanley Cup Final went to best-of-7 in 1939, the team that has won Game 1 has gone on to win it all 77 percent of the time.

Striking turn: Blackhawks take late lead with two goals in 1:58

Chicago Blackhawks v Anaheim Ducks - Game Five

Well then.

The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed content to nurse a 1-0 lead through the meat of Game 1 as Ben Bishop’s shutout streak became more and more of a story. The Chicago Blackhawks showed how difficult it is to prevent them from scoring a single goal … and then added another for good measure.

First things first, Teuvo Teravainen tied things up with about six minutes left in the third period:

Things only got worse for Tampa Bay from there, as Antoine Vermette took advantage of a healthy bounce to make it 2-1 less than two minutes later:

Just like that, the desperate scramble to score became the Lightning’s responsibility. If the Bolts can’t send this game to overtime, expect plenty of questions about their decision to play “prevent defense” instead of pressing for a bigger lead.

Not Fathers’ Day yet: Versteeg takes a beating in Game 1

Via Getty

Chances are, Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg was going to be tired after Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts are making sure that he’ll be a little achy, too.

Versteeg faced a “whirlwind” start to the week as his baby boy was born, but Tampa Bay isn’t softly patting him on the back as he enters fatherhood. Instead, they’re hitting him hard and often.

The 29-year-old was slow to get up after this collision with Victor Hedman/Ben Bishop, which resulted in a goalie interference penalty on Versteeg:

That wasn’t the only moment that might prompt some ice pack use, either, as Ondrej Palat delivered this check on him as well:

This photo says it all:

source: Getty Images
Via Getty

Versteeg is a proud punished poppa tonight. Perhaps he’ll also celebrate Fathers’ Day (June 21) with a Stanley Cup and the last laugh, though?