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Garrison, Vasilevskiy give Lightning Game 2 win

by Corey Masisak

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning made three goalie changes and evened the 2015 Stanley Cup Final with a 4-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

Jason Garrison's power-play goal midway through the third period gave rookie goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy his first Stanley Cup Playoff victory.

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

Lightning starting goaltender Ben Bishop left the game twice in the third period, once briefly and then for good with 7:41 left. Vasilevskiy replaced Bishop at the start of the power play before Garrison's goal, but Bishop returned during the celebration.

Bishop wasn't able to stay in net, and Vasilevskiy returned for good at 12:19 of the period. He made five saves for his first win since March 24 and eighth in the NHL.

"No one really knew what was going on," Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos said. "We were kind of listening to the announcements of who was in net for our team a couple times."

Vasilevskiy, 20, is the first goalie to win his first playoff game in relief in the Stanley Cup Final since 1928, when New York Rangers coach Lester Patrick played during a 2-1 overtime victory in Game 2 against the Montreal Maroons.

"Nervous? Just maybe a little bit, but after the first couple shots, I [felt] better," Vasilevskiy said. "Every game I'm ready and I keep my head ready for the game, and that's it."

Lightning coach Jon Cooper did not provide an update on Bishop after the game.

The Blackhawks tied the game twice and took a brief lead in the second period, but the Lightning won Game 2 of a series for the fourth time this postseason.

"We wanted to try and tie that game up at the end, but sometimes those ones slip away from you," Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said. "We just kind of kept giving up goals every time we tied the game up or got ourselves back into it. We just ran out of time."

Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook tied the game 3-3 at 3:38 of the third period. Toews fed the puck to Seabrook at the top of the offensive zone and he was alone when his slap shot beat Bishop. The goalie immediately complained of interference by Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa, but the play is not subject to review.

The second period looked a lot like how the series was forecast to be played. There were chances aplenty and four goals.

"That was pretty good pace out there tonight," Stamkos said. "That's what we expect I think at this time of the year with that much skill and speed on that team. There [were] a couple minutes that were back and forth. I think that's what a lot of people were expecting."

Chicago scored twice in less than two minutes of their 2-1 Game 1 win, and scored twice in a little more than two minutes to take a 2-1 lead in Game 2.

Andrew Shaw made it 1-1 at 3:04 of the second period. He and linemate Marcus Kruger were trying to screen Bishop on a shot from Andrew Desjardins. Shaw had inside position on Garrison and was able to shimmy to his right to score on the rebound after it trickled away from Bishop.

Rookie Teuvo Teravainen scored his second goal of the series at 5:20 to put Chicago ahead 2-1. With the Blackhawks on a power play, Teravainen had the puck near the top of the right circle and sent it to Hossa near the goal line for a perfect give-and-go. It was Teravainen's fourth goal of the playoffs, third in five games.

It didn't take long for the Lightning to answer. Tampa Bay's second line had a quiet Game 1 but "The Triplets" scored twice to give the Lightning take a 3-2 lead.

Nikita Kucherov deflected a left point shot from Garrison past Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford at 6:52. It was the second straight game the Lightning have beaten Crawford with a well-placed redirection of a shot that was going wide. It was Kucherov's 10th goal of the postseason.

"We're learning the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the job," Cooper said. "I think what happened to us the other night was a lesson learned. It's the first time that it happened to us in the playoffs. So what are we going to do about that? Put in that position again, what do you do?

"That position happened midway through the game when we had the 1-0 lead. There go the two quick goals, it's 2-1. Our guys wouldn't be denied. There was a fire on that bench when that happened. There wasn't panic, it was [anger]. You got to love that in your team, that in 72 short hours, we're coming back."

Lightning forward Tyler Johnson hadn't scored in five games, but the playoff leader padded his advantage at 13:58 of the second with his 13th goal. Johnson collected the puck along the goal line to the left of Crawford and went straight to the net. Johnson's shot went off Crawford's side and squeezed inside the near post.

"I'm competitive. I want to stop everything," Crawford said. "It's pretty frustrating, especially a couple I think I could have had. It's frustrating but you keep going. You can't hang your head right now. [They are] close hockey games but as a goalie when you give up two goals that maybe shouldn't go in at this point of the season it's pretty frustrating. I felt good. I was seeing the puck well. Some funky plays that went in. I've just got to be better."

Johnson, who has 22 points, set the Lightning record for most goals in one postseason.

Cedric Paquette earned plaudits for his defensive work against Chicago's top line in Game 1, and he scored the first goal of Game 2.

Blackhawks defenseman Kyle Cumiskey got spun around by the forechecking of Ryan Callahan and the puck went off Cumiskey's skate into the slot for a scoring chance from J.T. Brown. Crawford stopped that shot but couldn't save Paquette's from inside the right circle at 12:56 of the first period after he deked around sliding Brandon Saad with a shot fake. Brown helped out with a screen.

The Lightning were unable to hold a one-goal lead in Game 1 of this series but were able to bounce back, in the game when the Blackhawks grabbed control and in the series, which moves to Chicago for Games 3 and 4.

"I don't think we like to change our game," Johnson said. "I don't think we like to say that we have a bunch of different game plans regardless of how the series went before. As long as we stick to our structure, stick to the things that work, it's going to be a lot like tonight."

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