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Lightning look on bright side despite Game 4 loss

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 1:35 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- There is rarely solace in a loss, especially when the stakes are as high as they are in the Stanley Cup Final.

But the Tampa Bay Lightning were looking at the bright side of life after a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday in Game 4 evened the best-of-7 series at two victories each.

"We could have won every game so far," Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman said.

Garrison: Lightning can build on Game 4 loss

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 1:34 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, he talks about the Lightning's 2-1 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4.

-- No one thought it was going to be easy.

That's the way the game goes. You can feel like you played really well and still come up short in the end. That's how we feel right now. But that's also why it's not the first to two wins, it's the first to four.

We need to make sure that we're sticking to the same game plan, come out the same way we came out tonight and continue to build on what gave us success and learn from some things that we maybe could do better.

Blackhawks' Saad continues to shine in Cup Final

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 1:28 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Brandon Saad's goal was memorable, his speed burst on the game-winner remarkable, but his defensive play in the final minute of Game 4 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final was indelible.

The Chicago Blackhawks clung to a one-goal lead by their fingertips in what turned out to be a 2-1 victory at United Center on Wednesday to tie the best-of-7 series 2-2.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman got the puck at the right point with 37 seconds left in the third period and readied for a wrist shot. Saad read Stralman's mind, dropped to a knee and blocked the shot with his right skate, sending the puck out of the Blackhawks zone to burn some precious time.

"He's one heck of a player," Chicago forward Andrew Desjardins said. "He's got the skating ability, but it's also smarts, and he's one of those guys [who] sacrifices himself to do the right things. He's the total package. Big goal [he scored], but just a huge block too. That block with 20, 30 seconds left, or whatever it was there … huge."

Quenneville's line changes pay off for Blackhawks

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 1:26 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

CHICAGO -- The line shuffle is often seen as a hockey coach's first resort, an attempt to swing momentum or switch unfavorable matchups or get slumping offensive stars going.

For most coaches, however, their options with their forwards are often limited because of defined roles for certain players or lines that are clicking well and should remain intact.

Luckily for the Chicago Blackhawks, coach Joel Quenneville has no such limitations.

With a forward group that is among the most talented in the NHL, Quenneville can create a diverse combination of lines that can severely change the look of his team.

Vasilevskiy shows why Lightning confident in him

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 1:11 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Word started to spread through the Tampa Bay Lightning on the way to United Center a few hours before puck drop.

On the team bus, in the dressing room, from coaches to players, everyone eventually found out the hard truth, that No. 1 goalie Ben Bishop would not be even dressing for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, that 20-year-old rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy would be starting instead.

The reaction was pretty much the same from everyone. It was telling.

"There's not much thinking that goes on other than [Bishop] has been huge for us all year and you feel bad for him that he can't be a part of this," center Brian Boyle said. "When it comes to confidence in our goaltending, it's there for both guys."

That confidence, which the Lightning have emphatically stressed since before Game 3, when there were questions about Bishop's availability, is validated now after Vasilevskiy made 17 saves on 19 shots in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday at United Center.

Lightning say goalie Bishop will play again in Final

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 12:20 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop will play again in the Stanley Cup Final, coach Jon Cooper said Wednesday after Bishop was scratched from Game 4.

Bishop, who has an undisclosed injury, was replaced by rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who made 17 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

"[Bishop] is going to play again in this series, there's no question," Cooper said. "I just don't know which game."

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2, with Game 5 at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). Game 6 is here on Monday.

Lightning's Vasilevskiy prepared for Final spotlight

Thursday, 06.11.2015 / 12:10 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has already traveled a long road to make his impact on the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

Vasilevskiy, who won Game 2 with a third-period relief appearance, started Game 4 and lost 2-1 to  the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

Vasilevskiy made 17 saves Wednesday after making five without allowing a goal in 9:13 of ice time when Tampa Bay won Game 2, 4-3, on Saturday. Bishop, who has an undisclosed injury, won Game 3 3-2 on Monday.

Vasilevskiy, a 20-year-old Russian, has been working toward this moment for years.

Goalie analysis: Inside Vasilevskiy's 2014-15 season

Wednesday, 06.10.2015 / 8:41 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and has been breaking down the matchups throughout, so with Tampa Bay Lightning No.1 Ben Bishop out for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, we take a close look at 20-year-old rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who got the start.

Much like many goaltending coaches do before a playoff series, correspondent Kevin Woodley, the managing editor of InGoal Magazine, charted every goal he gave up with the help of a program from Double Blue Sport Analytics. The graphics showing where goals went in and where shots were taken from on the ice are nice, but the real value is analyzing the plays that led to them and whether they reveal strengths, weaknesses and tendencies that can be targeted.

Vasilevskiy starts Game 4 for Lightning; Bishop out

Wednesday, 06.10.2015 / 8:20 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Andrei Vasilevskiy led the Tampa Bay Lightning onto the ice for warmups for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final and will start against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Wednesday.

Ben Bishop, who was injured in Game 2 but played Game 3, was not on the ice for warmups and is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury, the Lightning said. Kristers Gudlevskis is Vasilevskiy's backup.

Vasilevskiy, 20, was a first-round pick (No. 19) in the 2012 NHL Draft. This would be his first start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has appeared three times in relief of Bishop, including in Game 2 of this series when he made five saves and was the winning goaltender in a 4-3 victory.

Blackhawks' Timonen savoring chance to play in Final

Wednesday, 06.10.2015 / 2:22 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Kimmo Timonen spent most of the 2014-15 season not playing hockey, hoping he would recover from blood clots that threatened to end his career before he felt it was time.

When he was ready for a second chance at authoring his own ending to a fantastic career, he wanted to do it with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Timonen hasn't played in Chicago's past five Stanley Cup Playoff games but found out Wednesday that he'll be in the lineup for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, likely replacing Kyle Cumiskey against the Tampa Bay Lightning at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"I'm really excited," Timonen said. "I'm obviously going to trust my experience and my instincts, and try to help the team as good as I can. It feels great. I can't lie to you."

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You could feel it. You could feel that they were going after each other and trying to win the game for their team.

— Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom on Game 2 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals, in which Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin and Penguins forward Sidney Crosby each scored hat tricks
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