Light­ning rally past Hawks and take a 2-1 Stan­ley Cup fi­nals lead

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Cedric Pa­que­tte scored the go-ahead goal and Ben Bishop made an im­pres­sive re­turn to the net as Tampa Bay ral­lied to beat Chicago 3-2 in game three of the Stan­ley Cup fi­nals.

For­ward Pa­que­tte redi­rected a feed from de­fense­man Vic­tor Hed­man past Chicago Black­hawks goal­tender Corey Craw­ford for the win­ner with 3:11 re­main­ing in the third pe­riod as the Light­ning seized a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven se­ries.

“This was a huge win for us,” Hed­man, of Swe­den, said. “It swung the mo­men­tum back to us and gave us home-ice ad­van­tage back.”

Bishop had an im­pres­sive per­for­mance as he fin­ished with 36 saves on Mon­day night. Bishop was ques­tion­able for the con­test af­ter ex­it­ing Satur­day’s game two late in the third with an undis­closed prob­lem.

Backup goal­tender An­drei Vasilevskiy had to en­ter and fin­ish the game, which the Light­ning won 4-3.

Tampa Bay Light­ning coach Jon Cooper again de­clined to re­veal the prob­lem that caused Amer­i­can Bishop to leave game two and said he might be will­ing to dis­cuss it once the se­ries is over.

“We will have to wait for when­ever this se­ries ends for that. Sorry, sorry,” Cooper said.

Amer­i­can Ryan Cal­la­han and Czech On­drej Palat also scored for the Light­ning, who are now 8-3 on the road in the Na­tional Hockey League post­sea­son.

“It is a tough build­ing to win in but we weath­ered the storm and Bishop was huge,” said Tampa Bay cap­tain Steven Stamkos.

“We have a lot of con­fi­dence in each other and it is amaz­ing to see how guys have stepped up at dif­fer- ent times through­out the whole sea­son, not just in the play­offs.”

Bran­don Saad and Brad Richards scored for the Black­hawks, who have lost two games in a row for the first time in the 2015 play­offs.

Hed­man did most of the work on the win­ner as he car­ried the puck into the Black­hawks’ zone then drew both Chicago de­fense­men, Brent Seabrook and Kyle Cu­miskey, to him be­fore find­ing Pa­que­tte open in the slot.

For the sec­ond game in a row, a mis­take by Chicago for­ward Pa­trick Sharp was partly to blame for the game-win­ning goal. In game two, a bad penalty by Sharp led to a Tampa power play go-ahead goal and on Mon­day he was too slow in get­ting back to his own zone which al­lowed Canadian Pa­que­tte to get open for the pass from Hed­man.

Goal­tender Craw­ford fin­ished with 29 saves and found him­self out of po­si­tion and un­able to slide across the crease to get a piece of Pa­que­tte’s puck.

Two goals, one by each team, just 13 sec­onds apart in the third set the tone in fa­vor of the Light­ning.

Saad scored with just over four min­utes gone in the third pe­riod to put Chicago ahead 2-1 but the Black­hawks lacked the killer in­stinct to put the game away.

The Light­ning an­swered 13 sec­onds later at 4:27 when Palat out bat­tled the Chicago de­fense for a loose puck in the crease and swat­ted it past Craw­ford to even the score.


Chicago Black­hawks’ Bryan Bick­ell, left, and Tampa Bay Light­ning’s Brian Boyle chase af­ter a loose puck dur­ing the sec­ond pe­riod in Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal in Chicago, Illi­nois on Mon­day, June 8.

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