The Chicago Blackhawks have a chance to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals after their comeback victory in Game 1. The two teams will meet again on Saturday night in Game 2.
The Lightning were in control of the series opener for most of the game, having scored less than five minutes into the first period. Tampa Bay held a 1-0 lead for the majority of the third period, until Chicago scored two goals in the final seven minutes.
Teuvo Teravainen was assisted by Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw at the 13:28 mark, and Antoine Vermette put one in the back of the net nearly two minutes later.
“We got a little too passive there,” Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop told reporters. “We sat back a little too much against a really good team.”
Corey Crawford has had his ups and downs in this year’s NHL playoffs, but he looked like a former Stanley Cup winner. He saved 22 of the 23 shots that came his way, improving on his .925 save percentage that he registered when Chicago won the 2013 Stanley Cup.
Even though Tampa Bay began the series at home, Chicago was named the favorite to win the title. It’s their third trip to the Stanley Cup Finals since 2010, and it’s the Lightning’s first trip to the finals since 2004.
"There's a fine line between respect and fear," Lightning forward Brenden Morrow said. "You can respect them; you can't fear them. It looked like in the third we were holding on and the fear of maybe what would be coming and what might happen."
Bishop only faced 21 shots, and the Tampa Bay defense has played very well in recent games. In Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Lightning only surrendered 22 shots to the New York Rangers, all of which were stopped. Two games prior to that shut out, the Lightning beat the Rangers 2-0, as Bishop saved all 26 shots on goal.
The Lightning have been very resilient this postseason. In games following losses, they’ve gone 7-1, surrendering an average of 1.25 goals per game. Tampa Bay is averaging 3.5 goals in those contests.
Tampa Bay is favored by Las Vegas sports books at home, but only slightly. They have -130 betting odds to win Game 2, while Chicago is a +110 underdog.
Prediction: Tampa Bay over Chicago, 4-2