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Lightning confident in Vasilevskiy if Bishop can't start

Sunday, 06.07.2015 / 9:32 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper said he doesn't know who is starting goaltender will be for Game 3 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

After first balking at the question, Cooper said at the Lightning's media availability Sunday that he isn't sure if it will be veteran starter Ben Bishop or rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Monday (8 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Bishop left Game 2 on Saturday twice because of an undisclosed injury. The first time was a brief absence in the middle of the third period, but then he exited for good with 7:41 remaining. Vasilevskiy made five saves in a 4-3 win.

Manchester tops Utica, leads 2-0 in Calder Cup Finals

Sunday, 06.07.2015 / 9:05 PM / News

Nic Dowd scored 5:36 into overtime to give the Manchester Monarchs a 2-1 win against the Utica Comets in Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals in Manchester, N.H., on Sunday.

Manchester took a 2-0 series lead after winning Game 1 in overtime on Saturday.

Zach O'Brien scored in the first period for Manchester, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. Nicklas Jensen tied the game 1-1 late in the second period for Utica, the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks.

Farrish: Last change benefits Blackhawks in Game 3

Sunday, 06.07.2015 / 7:45 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

For additional insight into the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks during the Stanley Cup Final, has enlisted the help of Dave Farrish to break down the action. Farrish will be checking in throughout the series.

Farrish was an assistant coach for the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs from 2005-14. He won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007. He also coached 1,027 games in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Farrish, a former defenseman, played 430 games in seven seasons in the NHL.

The matchup battle that is turning into a chess match in the Stanley Cup Final between Lightning coach Jon Cooper and Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has piqued Farrish's interest to the point where he thinks it could be a determining factor in the outcome of Game 3 on Monday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Goalie matchup: Inside Game 2 for Bishop, Crawford

Sunday, 06.07.2015 / 5:31 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

A huge part of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final will be the battle between 2013 Cup winner Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks and Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning. scouted the goalies before the series and will track their performance each game, identifying attack trends and shot quality. Kevin Woodley, managing editor of InGoal Magazine, will use Double Blue Sports Analytics software to chart goals and shots in each game. Here are his findings from Game 2, a 4-3 victory by the Lightning.

The shot-tracking statistics matched the eye test for Game 2 on Saturday: It was a tougher game for the goaltenders, though perhaps not as hard as the final 4-3 score might indicate.

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford dealt with more traffic in Game 2, with six screened shots from Tampa Bay after they failed to record one in the series opener. Screens played a role in three of their four goals.

Seabrook having historic postseason for Blackhawks

Sunday, 06.07.2015 / 5:21 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO – The answers from Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook were just as expected when asked Sunday about his individual accomplishments piling up in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Seabrook’s goal at 3:38 of the third period in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on Saturday tied it 3-3, and set a new Blackhawks record for goals by a defenseman in a playoff with seven, which moved him past Chris Chelios. It was the 19th postseason goal of his career. He's now tied with Bob Murray and Doug Wilson for first in that category.

Seabrook wasn’t aware of those numbers before sitting down with reporters at United Center and wasn’t curious where he ranked.

"I'm not here to make personal gains," Seabrook said. "We're here to win a Stanley Cup. That's what our team's focused on. We're in a great spot. It's the best time of the year. We're looking forward to coming out and playing a good game [Monday] night."

Blackhawks' Kane must demand puck in Game 3

Sunday, 06.07.2015 / 4:22 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville appears to have split up center Jonathan Toews and right wing Patrick Kane for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) with the hope of creating more balance and scoring depth in the forward lines.

"It certainly enhances the offense when they are together," Quenneville said, "but certainly the balance is something we'll look at."

Quenneville used Kane and Toews on the same line for the first five periods against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the best-of-7 series, which is tied 1-1. They didn't produce. He separated them at the start of the third period in a 4-3 loss in Game 2 on Saturday, and on their second shift apart, Toews set up defenseman Brent Seabrook for a game-tying goal.

"Certainly I think splitting those two up gives you a little bit more freedom as far as whether it's room or something for them [the Lightning] to be concerned with," Quenneville said. "We'll see how that progresses."

Center Joseph Veleno, 15, taken first in QMJHL Draft

Sunday, 06.07.2015 / 3:10 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Joseph Veleno, the first player from Quebec to be granted exceptional player status by Hockey Canada, was selected by the Saint John Sea Dogs with the first pick of the 2015 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Draft on Saturday.

Hockey Canada had announced Thursday a reversal of an earlier decision that allowed Veleno, a center who turned 15 in January, to enter the QMJHL draft a year earlier than other eligible players.

Listed at 6-foot, 168 pounds, Veleno had 16 goals and 52 points in 41 games for the Lac St-Louis Lions of the Quebec Midget AAA Hockey League this season. He also was second on Team Quebec at the Canada Winter Games with 10 points in six games.

Maple Leafs fielding trade inquiries on Kessel: report

Sunday, 06.07.2015 / 1:23 PM / News

Trade discussions for Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel picked up this weekend at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

If a trade were to take place, it wouldn't happen for at least a couple of weeks and the Maple Leafs could seek draft picks and prospects for Kessel, Friedman reported Saturday.

Kucherov, 'Triplets' get Lightning going in Game 2

Sunday, 06.07.2015 / 11:29 AM / "Obvious Choice" Moments Staff

Already trailing 1-0 in the Stanley Cup Final, the Tampa Bay Lightning were staring at a 2-1 deficit in the second period of Game 2 after the Chicago Blackhawks scored twice in 2:16. Tampa Bay faced a similar situation to Game 1, when it allowed two goals in 1:58 of the third period that proved to be the difference in a 2-1 loss.

The threat of having to travel to Chicago down 2-0 in the best-of-7 series hanging over their heads, the Lightning took 92 seconds to respond, and it was a member of their famed "Triplets" line that got them going en route to a 4-3 victory.

After combining for 55 points in 21 games, the Triplets had three goals and eight points in their previous five with Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat combining for two shots in Game 1 on Wednesday. The line scored twice in Game 2, starting with Kucherov's deflection of defenseman Jason Garrison's shot that tied the game at 6:52 of the second period.

Harvard graduate Killorn making impact with Lightning

Sunday, 06.07.2015 / 10:46 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

TAMPA -- Matt Killorn didn't know if it was possible, if his son Alex could do both. He hoped he could, but he also worried that having him concentrate so much on getting his education would destroy his dream to play in the NHL.

"I remember having the discussions with my wife, because she's a teacher by profession, and she was really advocating strongly the school route, which was obviously the right choice," Matt Killorn said. "But there was always a piece of me thinking, 'Is this really the right path?' There were a lot of people who told us that if you choose Harvard you're kind of saying no to professional hockey, because at that time Harvard wasn't really considered a strong hockey school."

Alex Killorn figured out a way to do both. Successfully. In the most demanding environments.

He graduated Harvard University with a degree in political science and a 3.5 grade-point average in 2012. Now he's a left wing playing top-six minutes on a line with Steven Stamkos for the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final, which is tied 1-1 heading into Game 3 on Monday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

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Quote of the Day

[Stamkos] is a great teammate and a great leader, that's why he's got the 'C'. He brings that tremendous work ethic to the rink and he's one of the top players in the game. I know if I put the passes where they are supposed to be, there's a very good chance he's going to put it in the back of the net.

— Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin
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