Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Garrison nets the winner as Lightning even series

AFP, TAMPA, Florida

Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks, center, gives up a third-period goal to Jason Garrison of the Tampa Bay Lightning, unseen, in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Jason Garrison scored the eventual game winner on a power play as the Tampa Bay Lightning held on to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday.

Garrison and Nikita Kucherov each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who evened the best-of-seven NHL championship series at 1-1.

Cedric Paquette and Tyler Johnson, with his league-leading 13th of the post-season, also scored, while Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy combined for 26 saves as the Lightning learned from their mistakes and did a better job pressing the attack than they did in a 2-1 Game 1 loss.

“We had more pushback tonight,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

Andrew Shaw, Brent Seabrook and Teuvo Teravainen scored for the Blackhawks, who are seeking to win their third Stanley Cup in the past six years having won in 2012-2013 and 2009-2010.

Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith was held scoreless, snapping his playoff point streak at five games.

The series now switches to Chicago for Game 3 today.

The Lightning were guilty of sitting back in Game 1 when they had the lead, but on Saturday they did a better job of taking advantage of their speed.

“In Game 1 we were a little bit hesitant and we weren’t making the plays we wanted,” Johnson said. “We sat back and Chicago is such a good team that if you give them that much space they are going to hurt you.”

Chicago netminder Corey Crawford stopped 20 shots, but had an off-night, looking out of position or sluggish on a couple of the Lightning goals.

He faced just two shots in the third period.

Bishop started the game for Tampa, but had to leave for good late in the third period with an undisclosed problem. The 20-year-old Russian rookie Vasilevskiy came in cold and stopped all five shots he faced, including a couple of key ones with the Blackhawks buzzing around his net in the final minute with the game on the line.

“Every game I am ready, if the coach tells me to go in, I just go in,” Vasilevskiy said.

Chicago’s Patrick Sharp was called for high-sticking at 7 minutes, 17 seconds of the third period and Bishop left the net at that time and went to the locker room, with Vasilevskiy taking over.

Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman sent a pass to Garrison, who rifled a blast that deflected off the stick of Chicago’s Andrew Desjardins and snuck past Crawford with 11:11 to play.

Bishop then came back into the net, but left again a little more than three minutes later and Vasilevskiy took over.

Tampa forward Steven Stamkos said he did not realize Bishop was out of the game until he heard the announcement to the crowd.

“I heard the PA announcer going back and forth with announcing who was in net. I don’t know what was up,” Stamkos said.

Sharp ended up being a liability for Chicago as he took back-to-back bad penalties in the third, including the costly one that led to Garrison’s game-winner.

The Lightning are in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since winning in 2003-2004.

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