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Blackhawks try to get even with Lightning in Game 4

by Brian Hedger



Tampa Bay leads best-of-7 series 2-1

CHICAGO -- If the Chicago Blackhawks are concerned about trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, they're doing a good job hiding it.

The Blackhawks are taking a businesslike approach to losing back-to-back games for the first time in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Chicago has succeeded the past seven seasons in Games 4 through 7, and that's where they're putting their trust.

"I think maybe it's part knowing what we're up against, part just us raising our game, getting better and better as the series go along," Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said Tuesday at United Center. "Obviously we don't draw it up in some situations when we get down in a series. It's not part of the plan. But I think we have confidence when we get in those situations that we can take it one game at a time, focus on the next game, [and] continue to put pressure on the other team."

The Blackhawks put some heat on the Lightning in the first period of Game 3 but didn't make it count with multiple goals. After outshooting Tampa Bay 38-32, Chicago feels more can be done to make injured goalie Ben Bishop work harder than he did making 36 saves to win 3-2.

Bishop labored with an undisclosed injury and his mobility was compromised. The Lightning did a good job clearing rebounds to make sure he needed only to make one save at a time, but the Blackhawks are intent on creating more disturbances.

"I think you want to continue to do the things that we do," Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook said. "Get bodies to the net. Get pucks there. Try and get good looks and get him moving a little bit. It's pretty much just directing pucks and bodies at the net and trying to make him work in there."

The Lightning are feeling increasingly confident in their ability to defend, no matter what forward line or defense pairing coach Jon Cooper sends over the boards. Much is talked about in regard to matchups, but Cooper appeared to scrap much of his strategy in Game 3 in favor of simply trusting his players.

They responded by largely keeping the Blackhawks away from the net and scoring timely goals.

"I think one of the things that's really been our focus is we're not really focused on Chicago," Cooper said. "We know they're talented and a world-class team, but we feel like we're in that group as well. It's how we're playing that's going to dictate, we feel, how this series is going to go."

Cooper did not provide an update on how Bishop was feeling, and Chicago coach Joel Quenneville revealed little about defenseman Johnny Oduya, who sustained an upper-body injury in Game 3. Each coach said he likely would know more Wednesday.

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