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Desjardins: Sticking to game plan led to Game 1 win

by Andrew Desjardins

Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardins will be blogging for periodically throughout the Stanley Cup Final. In this edition, he discusses Chicago's win in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. a 2-1 victory Wednesday night in which Chicago scored two goals in a two-minute span late in the third period at Amalie Arena.

We wanted to come out with a good start.

We expected them to come out hard, and they really did. I think we stayed patient, we kept to the game plan. We did a good job doing that. We were on our heels at the beginning a bit but we stuck to that game plan, and I think that's what got us the win. We stuck to it, and we got our breaks.

Even though I was playing my first game in the Stanley Cup Final, my day wasn't much different than any other game day. On the road, I try to wake up and get a Facetime in with the little guy and the wife right when I get up. Then the day was pretty routine as normal: Eat breakfast, come to the rink, skate, eat, nap from about 2:30 to 3:30, take the bus over and get ready with a bit of soccer.

It's one of those things where it's been like this throughout the playoffs. It's hockey, hockey, hockey right now and I'm focused on the task, just trying to block everything else out and focus on what I'm going to do tonight.

After our tough start to the game, we started to turn things around a bit in the second period, but we were still down a goal when we came into the room to get ready for the third.

We had a few guys chattering in the room, just telling us to stick to the program, that we were one shot away from tying this thing up and to play an aggressive game, but to be patient. Don't try to force things and stick to the plan. It really sunk in with the guys.

Most of the time Tazer [captain Jonathan Toews] and Seabs [defenseman Brent Seabrook] are talking a bit in the room, but there's a number of guys saying stuff and getting the guys going or getting the guys to calm down.

I was really happy to see Teuvo [Teravainen] score that tying goal for us. He's been playing really well, and what a heck of a shot he has. It was a great screen by Krugs [Marcus Kruger]. Then to Vermy [Antoine Vermette, who scored the game-winner]; it's outstanding when you come from behind like that and you just stick to that plan. To see it work is just so rewarding.

We had that mindset of sticking to our game plan the whole way through; we knew we were going to end up getting our chances. It's kind of beating the same drum, but it goes back to the fact we knew it was going to happen at one point, and it did. That possession game we had in the third period is always key to keep them on their heels, and it worked out.

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