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Garrison: Good to contribute to a victory

by Jason Garrison

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison will be blogging for periodically throughout the Stanley Cup Final. In this edition, he talks about scoring the winning goal in the Lightning's 4-3 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2.

TAMPA -- I don't want to make this any bigger than it is, so I'll just say that scoring a game-winning goal in the Stanley Cup Final feels good and leave it at that. What feels better, great in fact, is that I was able to get some production to contribute for a win.

As a defenseman you're trying to not get scored against. But whenever you can help out, those are usually big goals. It takes pressure off the forwards. To add that extra one, it seems to help in a game, especially in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

I was just fortunate enough to get a good screen, a good deflection, and sometimes when you put pucks on net they tend to find a way. Really it's just a lot of puck luck. I'll take it, but mainly because it helped to get us a win so we could even this series.

What I really liked about our Game 2 is how we responded from Game 1. We've done it all playoffs. It's tough to say why we're 4-0 in Game 2s in the playoffs, but obviously our Game 1 record isn't great, 1-3, and whenever you lose you're really itching to get back at it.

You can learn from your mistakes, especially when you play well and there are only certain things that might have gone wrong for you and are why you lost the game. You can know if you play the same way but add one or two small things you can win.

We did that in Game 2.

The speed of the game was quicker on both ends. It seemed like both teams had a lot of energy and both teams got a lot of chances. It's good when they scored a couple of goals to get the lead in the second period that we came right back to tie it. That's huge. Those are big plays for us.

We're still developing as a team and getting more confident in those situations, not panicking.

We also didn't panic when the goalie switches were going on in the third period. You have to stay calm. That's your main focus.

I saw Ben Bishop come off, go back on, and come off again. I wasn't sure what the reason was, and obviously you're worried about it. But it happened so quickly that you can't really be too concerned about it. You just have to roll with it.

The most important thing is making sure everyone is aware of it and they're helping out the new guy because a goalie coming in cold like Andrei Vasilevskiy did late in the game, it's tough. You have to make sure you communicate with him and try to make the easy plays, not do too much so he has to recover for you. You have to support him and make it as easy as possible for him.

I thought we did a good job at that.

So, yeah, it's cool to score the winner in a Cup Final game, but you try not to think about it too much because there is so much more hockey to go. You can't sit back and just ride the wave.

We got the win; it was a huge win for us, and that's what matters. Maybe later on I can sit back and think about it a little bit more, but right now it's time to turn the page and focus on Game 3.

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