Feb 27, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) looks at Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) after making a save during the third period at Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Second Matchup: February 27th. 2015
Don’t get too cocky. While the Hawks played a great game against the Lightning, back in November, they also played one of their worst games of the season against the Lightning. Unfortunately, this bad performance was much more recent.
However, there are a few catches. This was the Hawks first full game without Patrick Kane after he broke his collar-bone in the previous game against the Florida Panthers. This game was also the 2nd of back-to-back road games, which the Hawks struggled with in ’14-’15. Corey Crawford did not play in this game, as he was given the night off in favor of backup goaltender, Scott Darling.
Tampa Bay shutout the Hawks by a score of 4-0. After a scoreless 1st period, Brian Boyle and Steven Stamkos both scored to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead. The Lightning would score two more goals, both on the Power Play, in the 3rd period, to complete the 4-0 shutout.
Keep in mind, this was before the acquisition of Antoine Vermette, so the lineups aren’t;t exactly how they will be during the Finals. Even so, the Lightning only outshot the Hawks by one shot. Still, getting shutout and giving up two Power Play goals in one period is inexcusable.
As previously mentioned, there is a lot to throw out the window, but there is a bit to be taken from these two games. The Hawks seem to be able to hang with the Lightning, if not dominate, the Lightning possession-wise. If this continues, it will be huge for the Hawks.
At the same time, Ben Bishop has been stellar in net against the Hawks and Steven Stamkos always seems put up big numbers when he faces the Hawks. We’ll just have to wait a bit longer to see what will actually happen.