Lightning Hit Back to Level Stanley Cup Final
Jason Garrison slapped in the game-winner in the third period as the Tampa Bay Lightning avoided another late collapse to beat visiting Chicago 4-3 and even the Stanley Cup Final at 1-1 on Saturday.
The Lightning, who let in two third-period goals in a 2-1 loss on Wednesday, did not panic this time after the Blackhawks levelled at 3-3.
Instead, Garrison capitalized on a power-play chance with 11:11 remaining, his shot rebounding off the skate of Chicago’s Andrew Desjardins and fooling goaltender Corey Crawford.
“We were more aggressive tonight. In Game One we sat back a little bit,” Tampa Bay center Tyler Johnson told reporters. “We played our style.”
“It’s a best-of-five series now. Chicago is a great team, it’s going to be a battle.”
The series moves to Chicago for Game Three on Monday.
The Blackhawks, who are seeking their third Stanley Cup title in six seasons, appeared set to take a 2-0 series lead home when they struck for two quick scores in the second period to erase a 1-0 deficit.
Andrew Shaw netted the first before 20-year-old Teuvo Teravainen had his second goal of the series to put the visitor ahead 2-1.
Tampa Bay fought back in an action-packed second period with Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson each beating Crawford to grab a 3-2 lead.
Johnson had not scored in five games for the Lightning but broke out of his slump with his 13th goal of the post-season to set a Tampa Bay record.
Brent Seabrook made it 3-3 for the Blackhawks in the third on a shot that saw Chicago’s Marian Hossa shielding goaltender Ben Bishop, drawing complaints from Tampa Bay.
The winning goal was set up by a high-sticking penalty from Chicago’s Patrick Sharp who had just come out of the penalty box for a slashing call.
“I don’t think I’ve ever done that before, but it happened,” Sharp said. “We’ll move on from it. I take responsibility and apologize to our penalty-killers for putting them under such stress.”
The Blackhawks pushed hard for another equaliser, but this time Tampa Bay killed off a power play and survived an extra Chicago attack in the final minutes.
Backup Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy ensured the victory by saving all five shots he faced after replacing starter Ben Bishop late in the third.
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