Chicago Blackhawks v. Tampa Bay Lightning, Game Five
The Lightning’s Ben Bishop would look sharp as Chicago would begin their offensive attack from the first puck drop testing him at every chance. Yet the young Tampa Bay team would face some bad luck early.
After goalie Corey Crawford gained control of the puck, he hesitated too long looking for the perfect pass. This allowed the Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov to barely miss stealing the puck putting it into the net.
However, Tampa Bay’s clutch player Kucherov would injure himself in the process after making contact with Blackhawk’s goalie Corey Crawford and falling into the left post making contact with his neck. Kucherov would then drop his gloves immediately and skate off the ice not to be seen for the rest of the game.
Then if things could not go worse for Tampa, Ben Bishop would come out of the net but collide with teammate Victor Hedmund, who believed that he had possession rather than Bishop, in the process of clearing the puck.
This lack of communication allowed for Chicago’s Patrick Sharp get possession of the puck after the collision and put an easy goal in the net and put the Blackhawks up 1-0.
The second period would see Tampa Bay’s Kucherov still missing from the ice due to injury but the Lighting would find a way to prevail with just over nine minutes left.
With the puck sliding towards the boards in Chicago’s zone off a Blackhawk’s skate, Tampa Bay’s Jason Garrison would quickly gain control of it and immediately pass it to the other side of the ice finding Valtteri Filppula sneaking alongside the right post.
Filppula would catch Chicago goalie Corey Crawford facing the complete opposite direction allowing him to put a wrist shot right between Crawford’s glove and left pad to tie the game at 1-1.
The veteran studded Chicago wouldn’t wait long to destroy the tie breaker.
Just minutes into the third period, the Lightning would misplay the puck near the bench giving Chicago’s Kris Versteeg a breakaway with Lightning goalie Ben Bishop.
Bishop would make a great save on Vesteeg with his leg but as with much of this game, he could not control the rebound allowing Blackhawk Antoine Vermette to one time the puck into the left side of the net giving Chicago a 2-1 lead with exactly eighteen minutes left in the third period.
The game would end with players on the ice from both teams getting into scuffles as the young Tampa Bay Lighting team showed their frustration of losing Game Five at home.
An interesting fact of this game was how many problems the goalies for each side seem to have had controlling the puck. These problems almost created numerous goals for each side.
The Lightning will have to be wondering how Bishop feels after this game. If the Bolts won, there would be no question that Bishop is starting Game Six.
However with the loss and questionable health of Bishop, one has to wonder if the Lightning are contemplating backup goalie Vasilevskiy.
The Blackhawks have seventeen players with a Stanley Cup victory; with seven of those having more than one. This experience is starting to show as Chicago has taken the lead and looking to win the Stanley Cup next game.
It is very important for Chicago goalie Corey Crawford to start off strong in Game Six. He looked very nervous tonight misplaying a few pucks and had a tough time controlling the puck after shots.
However, if any goalie is capable of delivering a game-winning performance in the Stanley Cup Finals, it is Chicago’s Corey Crawford.
The pressure is officially on for the young Lighting team. Game Six will be in Chicago and the Blackhawks would love to win at home and hoist the Stanley Cup in the United Center.
The Lightning absolutely needs good news regarding the health of their vital player Nikita Kucherov. Kucherov is a leader of the young Bolts, and the Lightning may not be able to recover against Chicago after losing him.
Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals is sure to be an exciting one. The quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup continues Monday, June 13th, at 8 PM Eastern from Chicago.