Chicago Blackhawks Stunned by Tampa Bay Lightning in Game #3; Trail Series 2-1

By Brian Kinkade

Jun 8, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) battles for the puck with Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) in the second period in game three of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Oof!  This one hurts.  The Tampa Bay Lightning came through in the clutch and on the road to come back and stun the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Finals.  The Lightning now lead the series 2-1.

At the start of the first period, the Lightning pushed the pace and kept the puck in the Hawks’ zone.  After a brief scurry from the Hawks that created a scoring chance, a blowout by Johnny Oduya allowed Victor Hedman to execute a beautiful stretch pass to an open Ryan Callahan who buried a shot past Corey Crawford to give Tampa an early 1-0 lead.

The Hawks would create a great scoring chance thanks to Marian Hossa that would cause Braydon Coburn to take a penalty.  There would be no Power Play since Brandon Saad also took a penalty in the ensuing scrum.

The Hawks would dominate the 4-on-4 play but the Ben Bishop and the Lightning would be up to the task and just barely stop the Hawks from scoring.

A Power Play would eventually present itself to the Hawks in the form of Braydon Coburn’s hooking penalty at 12:42 of the first.  The man-advantage would buzz and produce when Brad Richards found the back of the net to tie the game on his Power Play goal.

The period would end with the Hawks dominating the Lightning with 19 shots on goal compared to Tampa’s 7, but the score was tied 1-1.

Just like the first, the Lightning came out in the 2nd period with a furious pace.  After mostly back-and-forth hockey for roughly the next ten minutes, Nikita Kucherov would take an ill-advised tripping penalty to give the Hawks their second Power Play of the game.

However, this time the Lightning killed the penalty and Kucherov even got a beautiful breakaway chance as he left the penalty box, but Crawford stoned him.

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Tampa Bay would get their chance on the Power Play with less than 5 minutes to play in the second period when Bryan Bickell would take a very undisciplined roughing penalty.

The Lightning Power Play ould soon become a 5-on-3 Power Play after Brandon Saad would crash into Ben Bishop on a shorthanded chance.  Miraculously, the Hawks would find a way to kill the 5-on-3 and the 5-on-4, thanks to some great goaltending from Corey Crawford and some excellent play from the Hawks’ Penalty Killers.

The second period would come to an end with lots of drama and excitement but no goals.  The game was tied 1-1 going into the third.

The Hawks would sustain pressure on the Tampa defense early in the third and it would result in a Brandon Saad goal to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.  Seconds later, Ondrej Palat brought back the tie game with his goal to make it a 2-2 tie.

Both the Hawks and Lightning would trade chances for most of the period.  It wasn’t until about 17 minutes into the third period when Cedric Paquette was able to find the back of the Hawks’ net to give the Lightning a 3-2 lead.

And that’s how it would end…

The Lightning were able to pull off some miracle heroics in Chicago.  This one has got to sting the Hawks.  Hopefully, they come out like bats out of hell in Game Four.  Just…ouch…

Go Hawks!

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