Stanley Cup final: 4 stories from Blackhawks-Lightning Game 5
The Chicago Blackhaws are just one win away from hoisting the Stanley Cup for the third time in six years after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 to take a 3-2 lead in the series.
Here are four stories from Game 5:
Vermette knows timing is everything
Antoine Vermette was the man of the hour once again. His goal two minutes into the final frame broke a 1-1 tie and also held up as the game winner.
Although it was just Vermette’s fourth goal of the 2014-15 playoffs, the Blackhawks centre sure has a knack for timing as three of those markers have been game-winning goals.
Bad non-call, even worse decision by Bishop
The sequence started with a missed call and ended with a goal that maybe shouldn’t have happened for at least two reasons.
Early in the first period, Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford played the puck outside of the trapezoid behind his crease, which would have resulted in a two-minute penalty had the refs seen it.
However play continued and led to a gift-wrapped goal for Patrick Sharp to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.
Maybe the play should never have been allowed to unfold, but that doesn’t excuse or even begin to explain why Lightning goalie Ben Bishop wandered so far out of his net.
Lightning, Blackhawks match history
Each game in this series has been decided by just one goal. The only other time the first five games of the Stanley Cup final were decided by this margin was back in 1951 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.
To further show just how evenly matched Chicago and Tampa appear to be, this was the third game in a row they entered the third period with the score tied.
Perhaps the sides would be able to put a little more distance between each other if captains Steven Stamkos (Lightning) and Jonathan Toews (Blackhawks) could find a way to break free in the offensive zone.
Toews did not attempt a single shot in 16:51 of ice time in Saturday night’s game, while Stamkos managed to fire just one puck at the net in 21:31 of action.
More to the loss for Lightning
Unfortunately Tampa had to make do for most of the game without forward Nikita Kucherov.
?After logging just 1:17 of ice time, Kucherov crashed into the goal post and left with an undisclosed injury.
Kucherov’s status for Monday night will be extremely important because he has tallied 10 goals and 12 assists in 25 games this post-season.
CBC | Sports News