The Tampa Bay Lightning evened the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at 1-1 with a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 on Saturday night. A power play goal scored by Tampa Bay defenseman Jason Garrison with 11:11 remaining in the game ended up being the game winner.
Game 2 got off to a very fast start, with a lot of back-and-forth, end-to-end play that saw both teams generating a lot of scoring chances. The Lightning were the only team able to cash in, though, as Cedric Pacquette fired a wrist shot over the blocker of a screened Corey Crawford. The Bolts would take that 1-0 lead into the the first intermission.
The Blackhawks came out firing in the second period, and quickly jumped out to a 2-1 lead. The first Chicago goal came from Andrew Shaw, who set up in front of Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop and was able to put home a rebound off the shot of Andrew Desjardins. Then, just over two minutes later, on the power play, Teuvo Teravainen scored his second goal of the series off a nice feed from Marian Hossa. However, the lead didn't hold up for long.
Just 1:32 later, Nikita Kucherov beautifully redirected a shot from Garrison, beating Crawford short side to tie the game at 2-2. Later in the period, Tyler Johnson was able to squeak a shot between Crawford and the post - one that Crawford should've had - and gave the Bolts a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.
Chicago again struck quickly in the third, as Brent Seabrook finished off a great rush with a bomb of a slap shot to tie the game at 3. Bishop thought he was interfered with on the play, as Marian Hossa was approaching him as the shot was released, but the officials ruled it a good goal, and the game was tied. Then, Patrick Sharp happened.
Sharp took two pretty bad penalties in a row, the first of which a slash, which the 'Hawks were able to kill off. But then, just 10 seconds after getting out of the box, Sharp took a high sticking penalty, as he caught Lightning forward Ryan Callahan up high. The Bolts would capitalize, as Garrison fired a shot that went off the stick of Desjardins and beat Crawford glove side for the eventual game-winner.
Some quick hits from this game:
- Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were just about invisible in this one, as they were completely shut down by the Pacquette line and the defensive pairing of Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman. Quenneville split them up for the third period, but it didn't help much. Toews did get the primary assist on Seabrook's goal, but other than that he and Kaner still seemed futile. The tend to show up late in series, but maybe someone should remind them that these games count as wins, too.
- The fourth line of Desjardins, Shaw, and Marcus Kruger was great in this one. They were constantly all over the ice, and were probably the 'Hawks best unit in this game. The forward depth the 'Hawks possess is one of their biggest strengths in this series, so to see it coming to fruition is great. More of the same, please.
- David Rundblad didn't play much in this one, but it wasn't just because he isn't a top-4 guy. He was pretty bad in the little time he did get. He seems too passive when it comes to shooting the puck, which is strange because his shot is easily his best asset. Maybe giving Trevor van Riemsdyk a shot in his spot wouldn't be the worst thing, after all.
- There was a really strange situation in the Tampa Bay crease in the third period, as Ben Bishop came off the ice prior to the Bolts' fourth goal, being replaced by Andrei Vasilevskiy. However, immediately following the winning goal, Bishop came back into the game, causing many people to speculate it was just
the poopsan equipment issue. BUT the fun wasn't over there, as Bishop came back out the game just a few minutes later, and Vasilevskiy ended up finishing the game, and getting the win, as he was on the ice for the GWG. It'll be interesting to see how this situation plays out, because if Bishop is out for a while, it puts Tampa Bay in a bit more of a hole in this series.