For hockey fans, the Stanley Cup couldn’t have gone better, as each team was able to get a victory. The best-of-seven series is now a best-of-five series heading back to Chicago for Games 3 and 4.
Game 1 got started with a Tampa Bay goal from Alex Killorn deflection into the net, 4:31 into the contest. The 1-0 lead would hold for the remainder of the period. Chicago goalie Corey Crawford recorded nine saves, while Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop recorded seven.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second period. Crawford stopped eight shots in the period and Bishop knocked away six shots.
Chicago would strike twice, late in the game, to seal things up and steal home-ice advantage. The Blackhawks got a big contribution from 20 year-old Teuvo Teravainen as he had a hand in both goals. He got it started by scoring a goal with 6:32 left to tie the game at 1-1. Two minutes later, he assisted the game-winning goal to Antoine Vermette to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 victory and a 1-0 series lead. Crawford stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced, while Bishop stopped 19 of the 21 he faced. Both teams did a good job of staying out of the penalty box, as there were only five combined penalties. With the loss, Tampa Bay suffered their first loss after scoring first in the playoffs; they were previously 9-0.
Game 2 was a completely different affair between these two team as they combined for seven goals. Tampa Bay once again got the scoring started as Cedric Paquette scored his second goal of the post season. The goal scoring was just getting started.
Chicago struck three minutes into the second period to tie the game at 1-1 as Andrew Shaw was able to get one by Bishop. Two minutes later Teravainen lit the lamp for a power play goal to continue his impressive Stanley Cup play and to give his team a 2-1 lead. Tampa Bay would respond with two goals of their own. A little under two minutes later, Nikita Kucherov scored his 10th goal of the postseason to knot the game at 2-2. Later in the period, Tyler Johnson scored his 13th goal of the postseason on an assist from Kucherov. With the goal, Johnson became the Tampa Bay franchise record holder for most goals in the single postseason. The Lightning would take a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.
Jonathan Toews and Johnny Oduya found Brent Seabrook to tie the game, 3-3, 3:38 into the period. Seabrook has scored more goals this postseason than any other defenseman. With 11:11 left in the game, Tampa Bay would strike again, this time the final tally of the game when Jason Garrison ended his 15-game goal drought and delivered the game-winner on the power play. 20 year-old rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded the win as he replaced Bishop twice in the third period after he left with an undisclosed injury. Vasilevskiy stopped all five shots he saw. Bishop’s status for Game 3 Monday night is still uncertain, but the Lightning are confident in their rookie.
The Blackhawks were able to do what any road team wants to do to start a series by splitting with the Lightning heading back to Chicago. This is where the series will get interesting as Chicago is 7-1 in the United Center this postseason, while Tampa Bay is 7-3 on the road. Patrick Kane has been absent thus far and he will need to step his game up to give his team an opportunity to take care of business at home. As for the Lightning, the defense will have to step it up just a bit if their starting net minder isn’t able to play. The now best-of-five starts Monday at 8 pm.