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Crawford, Sharp accept blame for Blackhawks loss

by Corey Masisak

TAMPA -- Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford and forward Patrick Sharp each wanted to assume some blame Saturday following a 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena.

Crawford was not happy with either of the two goals he allowed in the second period, and the Lightning scored the game-winning goal on the second of back-to-back penalties by Sharp in the third.

"It's frustrating. I felt good, but it's not good enough," Crawford said. "Especially when we get momentum, we score a big goal on the power play (to go up 2-1), and they come back with those two. We showed character again, we almost came back, we tied it. Tough bounce on their power-play goal, but it was close. We came back, it was close. I can't let that happen again."

Two of Tampa Bay's goals were deflected in front of Crawford, including one that took incredible skill from Nikita Kucherov. Crawford wasn't happy with that one, but especially with Tyler Johnson's goal that made it 3-2.

Johnson squeezed a short-angle shot between Crawford and the near post after driving at the net along the goal line.

When Chicago coach Joel Quenneville was asked to assess Crawford's play, he replied, "Just OK."

"I don't want to give that up. I don't think he was trying to do that," Crawford said. "He kind of fanned on his backhand, hit the side of the net. I don't know if it bounced up, I kind of lost it from there, but I felt something on my back. You can't give those up in these games. That's two goals I pretty much just gave them and gave them momentum back."

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1. Game 3 is at Chicago on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Sharp went to the penalty box for slashing Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman at 4:59 of the third period. Chicago killed off that penalty, but Sharp took another one seconds after he came out of the box.

He was in a three-person scrum for the puck along the wall near the Blackhawks bench when his stick clipped Lightning forward Ryan Callahan at 7:17.

"It was something I don't think I've ever done that before, but it happened," Sharp said. "Move on from it. I take responsibility and I apologized to our penalty-killers for putting them under such stress."

Though Crawford and Sharp wanted to take the blame, captain Jonathan Toews was actually happier with Chicago's play in Game 2 than he was after its Game 1 victory.

"I think we're definitely more satisfied with our effort, obviously not the result tonight," Toews said. "I think there were slip-ups midway through the game where we kind of let them play their game and get too comfortable and get their speed game up and down the ice. Some details there that I think we just need to snug up on. Our effort was there for sure, so keep it in perspective. That's a good team, so to go home 1-1, I don't think is something we are satisfied with considering the position we were in tonight but we have to be excited about going home and back to our building."

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