Good Morning Hockey Fans! For those predicting a quick end to the Stanley Cup Final, well, that’s not going to happen. The Stanley Cup Final is going at least six games after the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Chicago. Game five is on NBC Saturday at 8:00 PM EDT.
In Wednesday’s game, there were two emerging themes. Lightning goalie Ben Bishop was suffering from an unknown injury. Bishop attended the morning skate, but was unable to go. Bishop was scratched form the Lightning lineup and was sitting in the press box during last night’s game. Rookie goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy started in Bishop’s place and took the loss. Vasilevskiy stopped 17-of-19 shots. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper expects Bishop to play again in the series.
The big story through the first three games of the Stanley Cup Final, the Lightning’s ability to hold the Blackhawks dynamic duo off of the score sheets. After being held to a single assist in the first three games, forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane had a hand in both Blackhawk goals. Toews scored the game’s first goal, his 10th of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Patrick Kane assisted on Brandon Saad’s game-winning goal.
During the opening period of game four, the Lightning came out of the gate like gangbusters. The Lightning would outshoot the Blackhawks 9-2, but Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford kept the Blackhawks in the game. In the second period, the Blackhawks got the better of the opportunities outshooting the Lightning 12-8.
True to form, the closing minutes of the third period would again prove to be the most exciting part of the game. The Lightning would make a furious push in the closing minutes of the third period, but the Blackhawks would hang on to secure the win, and even the series 2-2. Lightning All-Star Steven Stamkos missed an open net in the waning moments.
Let’s take a look at some of the stories that are making the rounds this morning
Stanley Cup Final
You didn’t think getting Cup would be easy, did you? (TBO.COM)
Conn Smythe Watch: Jonathan Toews continues rise (Puck Daddy)
Down, but not out: Cooper confirms Bishop will play again this series (Pro Hockey Talk)
Blackhawks finally get some relief against Lightning’s backup goalie (Chicago Tribune)
‘Goalie win’: Corey Crawford thwarts furious Lightning last-minute rally (Chicago Sun-Times)
Blackhawks get a real shake-up call from coach Joel Quenneville (Chicago Tribune)
For the victorious Blackhawks, must-win games are for somebody else (Chicago Sun-Times)
3 Stars of Stanley Cup Final Game 4 (The Hockey Writers)
Lightning falls to Blackhawks, Stanley Cup final tied at 2 (Tampa Bay Times)
Game 4 loss doesn’t detract from terrific series (Tampa Bay Times)
Other NHL News
The Arizona Coyotes are Officially Homeless (Inside Hockey)
Glendale votes to cancel agreement with Coyotes, who threaten to sue for $200 million (Pro Hockey Talk)
Wild’s Vanek Slowed by Sports Hernia (The Hockey Writers)
Hockey opportunities for youth come knocking (tbo.com)