For more than 43 minutes of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final Wednesday, the Lightning kept the Blackhawks off the scoresheet. But Chicago required just a two-minute span in the third to get all the offense necessary in a 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay.
For the first 43 minutes or so of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final Wednesday in Tampa Bay, the Lightning had held the powerful and accomplished Chicago Blackhawks off the scoreboard completely. Then, in just under two minutes, the Hawks demonstrated why they’re so powerful and accomplished, scoring twice to give them all the offense they’d need to claim a 2-1 victory and a 1-0 series lead.
Blackhawks rookie Teuvo Teravainen pulled his team even at 13:28 of the third period with his third goal of the playoffs – a no-look shot that somehow made its way through traffic and past Bolts goalie Ben Bishop:
Then, just 1:58 later, veteran center Antoine Vermette took advantage of a Lightning turnover and beat Bishop over his glove side on a partially-deflected shot to give the visiting Hawks the lead:
Vermette has been a healthy scratch more than once for Chicago during the playoffs, and his Game 1 goal Wednesday was just his third in 15 games. However, two of those goals were game-winners. And that is why NHL GMs make trades for old hands like Vermette: they don’t have to score a lot of goals, they just have to score important ones.