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Blackhawks' trend of allowing quick goals continues

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks' habit of allowing a goal soon after scoring one has been a problem in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and it was a big reason they lost Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final 3-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning at United Center on Monday.

Lightning forward Ondrej Palat scored 13 seconds after forward Brandon Saad gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead early in the third period, and the Lightning scored with 3:11 left to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"I think for sure, after you grab momentum after a big goal, you want to try and continue with that," Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford said. "To give one right back is obviously not what we want, but stuff happens. We've got to try and get past it."

It was the 10th goal Chicago has allowed less than two minutes after scoring this postseason, and the second time in this series. In the first round against the Nashville Predators, the Blackhawks allowed four quick goals after they scored in four separate games but won the series in six.

In Game 4 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks, Chicago allowed three goals in less than two minutes in the third period, after captain Jonathan Toews and defenseman Brent Seabrook scored in the first 7:38 of the period for a 3-1 lead. The Blackhawks won that series in seven games.

"It's frustrating," Toews said. "A lot of things we did today gave us the feeling we were going to come out on top with the effort we gave. It was just a couple of little bad habits that ended up hurting us. We are responsible for that, but I think this game could have been similar to the way we stole Game 1 from them."

The Blackhawks scored two quick goals late in the third period of Game 1 for a 2-1 win at Amalie Arena.

"I feel like we had a lot of chances, especially early in the game," Toews said of Game 3. "Late in the game, we gave up those odd-man rushes. We've been talking about that and they ended up in the back of the net. We'll improve in that area and use it as motivation to find that anger or emotion that we need to bounce back in the next one."

Game 4 is at United Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), when the Blackhawks will try to end their first losing streak of the postseason.

Chicago outshot Tampa Bay 19-7 and outplayed them for most of the first period, but the game was tied 1-1. Lightning forward Ryan Callahan scored at 5:09 and Blackhawks forwards Marian Hossa and Teuvo Teravainen failed to score on separate opportunities with goalie Ben Bishop far out of position.

Bishop labored moving side-to-side and struggled to get back to his feet bothered by an undisclosed injury. The Blackhawks outshot the Lightning 38-32 but were outshot 25-19 in the last two periods.

"He looks like he's got some issues," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said of Bishop. "But I think we still didn't put enough pucks at the net and traffic, obviously. But certainly later in the game there, we made it easier on him."

Quenneville was upset about Palat's goal caused by a Blackhawks turnover in the neutral zone.

"[It's a] big shift after goals either way, [you] should be excited about being out there," Quenneville said. "[They] got it to the net, loose puck, ended up in the back of our net. You like to be going the other way after a draw, but certainly you can't give up that type of goal."

Crawford agreed, but said he should have made the save.

"No, we were pretty focused," he said. "It's just a weird play, a bobbling puck and I just thought I had time to go and grab it. Obviously I didn't."

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