In another intense Stanley Cup Finals third period, the Tampa Bay Lightning held off the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-3, on Saturday night at Amalie Arena in Game 2. The series is even, 1-1.
With 8:49 remaining in the third, Jason Garrison scored with a deflected shot past Corey Crawford to give the Lightning a lead they would not relinquish, even with goalie Ben Bishop substituted for Andrei Vasilevskiy. The 20-year-old Russian held off Chicago's last ditch effort to even the game with five crucial saves. There has been no word about the status of Bishop, or why he left the game.
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper received a solid performance from his role players. Ryan Callahan and J.T. Brown, who had a big block late in the game, came up big for Tampa Bay with aggressive efforts. The Tampa crowd, which was boisterous from the drop of the puck, was heard chanting, "Lets go, Bolts!" as the Lightning held off the Blackhawks' late charge.
"It was unbelievable," said Lightning center Cedric Paquette, when asked why the match was so intense. "I think the crowd helped us get momentum today. I think the first goal gave us momentum."
Paquette scored the opening goal, which helped erase some tension for the Lightning after a tough Game 1 ended with two quick Chicago goals. Tampa had held a 1-0 lead in Game 1, but Chicago stunned the home team with two goals late in the third period.
Game 3 is at the United Center in Chicago on Monday.