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Garrison: Game 1 loss showed we can't sit back

Thursday, 06.04.2015 / 1:38 AM / Player's Blog with the Lightning's Jason Garrison

Jason Garrison - Special to

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison will be blogging for periodically throughout the Stanley Cup Final. In this edition, Garrison discusses a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

TAMPA -- It really felt like a pretty normal game day on Wednesday. I know that might sound strange, but it's true.

We had an optional skate, and a lot of guys took the option to save their energy. We had a good meeting too. Having these later games, after 8 o'clock for puck drop, means we have a lot of time in the afternoon, a lot of time to kill. I took a nap, watched a little TV, and that was about it. Really, I tried to go over in my mind some things from the game, things we saw in the morning and even Tuesday.

Desjardins: Sticking to game plan led to Game 1 win

Andrew Desjardins - Special to

Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardins will be blogging for periodically throughout the Stanley Cup Final. In this edition, he discusses Chicago's win in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. a 2-1 victory Wednesday night in which Chicago scored two goals in a two-minute span late in the third period at Amalie Arena.

We wanted to come out with a good start.

We expected them to come out hard, and they really did. I think we stayed patient, we kept to the game plan. We did a good job doing that. We were on our heels at the beginning a bit but we stuck to that game plan, and I think that's what got us the win. We stuck to it, and we got our breaks.

Big stage doesn't rattle Blackhawks rookie Teravainen

Thursday, 06.04.2015 / 1:13 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

TAMPA -- Rookie right wing Teuvo Teravainen administered a knockout punch for the Chicago Blackhawks with a goal and assist in the third period of a 2-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at Amalie Arena.

He did it in the coolest possible way too.

"He doesn't seem to have a heartbeat," teammate Marian Hossa said of the 20-year-old. "He's so calm. He's Finnish cold."

Teravainen, usually shy and reserved, delivered a great punchline while speaking with reporters about his performance.

Blackhawks rely on past lessons to win Game 1

Thursday, 06.04.2015 / 1:06 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

TAMPA -- It's sometimes difficult to quantify the impact of experience, and it can often be a concept that gets overblown.

That appeared to be the case in the run-up to this Stanley Cup Final.

The Chicago Blackhawks, playing in their third Final in six seasons, had a clear advantage in that department when compared to the Tampa Bay Lightning, playing in their second Final, period.

But as the Lightning, fueled by a frenetic home crowd, got off to an excellent start in Game 1 on Wednesday and opened the scoring at 4:31 of the first period on a skilled deflection by Alex Killorn, the Blackhawks knew they weren't out of it.

In fact, they not only knew they weren't out of it, the Blackhawks knew they would come back if they stuck to the system and played the type of game that has brought them so much success over the years.

They believed it.

If there is one tangible benefit to experience, perhaps that is it. Belief.

"I think we always have that feeling," Chicago forward Patrick Sharp said. "It doesn't matter how the game is going, doesn't matter what the score is. I think there's a belief in our room that things are going to happen when we stick to the game plan and trust the process."

Paquette shines in surprise shutdown role vs. Toews

Thursday, 06.04.2015 / 1:00 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Long - Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette wasn't expecting to draw the assignment of trying to shut down Chicago Blackhawks star center Jonathan Toews in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday. However, he proved to be up for the task.

The 21-year-old spent most of his 10:51 on ice doing his best to pester and frustrate Chicago's captain and the linchpin of the Blackhawks' top line. Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, said Tuesday that Toews was a "bigger, stronger, better" version of himself.

"I think I played well against him," said Paquette, who went 3-5 on faceoffs against Toews, with all eight draws coming in Tampa Bay's defensive zone or the neutral zone. "I think our line played well defensively. His line didn't get a lot of opportunities when we were on the ice. He's smart, he's knows where the puck is going to go, he knows where his teammates are going to go. We stayed on the defensive side of the puck, we kept it in, the little details."

Blackhawks owner says GM Bowman core of success

Wednesday, 06.03.2015 / 9:30 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

TAMPA -- Don't call the Chicago Blackhawks a dynasty.

Owner Rocky Wirtz has another term for what his organization has become by making its third appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in the past six seasons.

"What I would really like to say is I'm so proud of [general manager Stan Bowman] to keep re-inventing," Wirtz said prior to Game 1 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on Wednesday. "He invented the 2010 [championship] team. He invented the 2013 [championship] team, and I think this team is a re-invention too. So, it's more of a re-invention and being able to have a process in place to be successful."

The 'D' word is starting to get used more often when referring to the Blackhawks because of their extensive success since Wirtz took control of the team after his father's death in 2007. In eight years, a team that was regularly near the bottom is now a perennial contender looking to hoist the Cup for the third time since 2010.

Three questions for Blackhawks, Lightning in Game 1

Wednesday, 06.03.2015 / 1:36 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks haven't played each other since Feb. 27, the second game Chicago played after Patrick Kane sustained a fractured clavicle that put him out for the rest of the regular season. The Lightning won 4-0. It means nothing now.

So much is different for the Lightning and Blackhawks heading into Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at Amalie Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). For starters, Kane is back in Chicago's lineup and has 20 points in 17 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Tampa Bay has played 20 out of a possible 21 games to reach the Cup Final for the first time since 2004, when current Blackhawks center Brad Richards won the Conn Smythe Trophy as a member of the Lightning.

Chicago played 17 games to get to the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in six seasons.

Undoubtedly we'll know a lot more about what type of Cup Final we're in once a game is finally played. Heading into it, because there is not a lot of familiarity between the teams, it's still a mystery of what to truly expect, even though many pundits have their own ideas.

So instead of having keys for each team heading into Game 1, we have questions, as in three for the Blackhawks and three for the Lightning. Here they are:

Superstars, frenetic pace promise unforgettable Final

Wednesday, 06.03.2015 / 1:12 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks are two of the deepest, fastest, most skilled teams in the NHL and typically try to engage in an entertaining style of play.

It could lead to a 2015 Stanley Cup Final filled with exciting plays, a frenetic pace and lots of goals.

"They've had a lot of players step up and it seems like they have a lot of offense and skill and speed to their team too," Chicago forward Patrick Kane said. "You look at it, it seems like it'd be a fun matchup and a fun series for the average fan to watch and a fun series to play in as well."

Riggle, Daughtry to headline 2015 NHL Awards

Wednesday, 06.03.2015 / 12:30 PM / 2015 NHL Awards

LAS VEGAS – The 2015 NHL Awards™ special salute to the best regular-season players and performances will be hosted by actor and comedian Rob Riggle and will feature a live musical performance from rock band Daughtry followed by a full concert on Wednesday, June 24 at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, the National Hockey League announced today. The two-hour primetime awards show will broadcast live at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on NBCSN in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada. Tickets to the 2015 NHL Awards go on sale today at any MGM Resorts box office location.

Strangis: Olczyk brings horse sense to Cup Final

Wednesday, 06.03.2015 / 10:00 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Ralph Strangis - Special to

Horse players remember the misses more than the hits. The ones that didn't pay are the ones they talk about. Cashing tickets are part of the routine, even the big ones, and they all run together. Mostly they're just vouchers for the next play anyway.

So when Eddie Olczyk tells you about his 2015 spring, the first story he'll recite likely will concern the unprecedented daily double he missed by a nose.

When the New York Rangers lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final to the Tampa Bay Lightning, it took away the opportunity for Olczyk to work the Belmont Stakes and the Stanley Cup Final on the same day.

Instead, Olczyk will call only the Final between the Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks, which starts with Game 1 at Amalie Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

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He's been one of our top players all year. Tonight he was by far our best player. There wasn't anybody in the same universe as him.

— Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz on goalie Braden Holtby, who made 33 saves to shut out the Edmonton Oilers 1-0
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