Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lightning Beat Blackhawks in Bizarre, Back and Forth Game 2, Even Cup Final

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lightning Beat Blackhawks in Bizarre, Back and Forth Game 2, Even Cup Final

Article excerpt

Lightning win bizarre Game 2, even Cup final

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TAMPA, Fla. - Bob Cole was nowhere near Amalie Arena to tell Canada, "Everything is happening." It was anyway.

Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final Saturday night exemplified the legendary broadcaster's famous calls. It had a premature goal horn, a wicked pace, a controversial interference call and a mysterious goaltending change.

Plenty of goals helped the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 to even the series at a game apiece. In a game that had countless twists and turns, the young Lightning proved up to the challenge.

"Our guys wouldn't be denied," coach Jon Cooper said. "You got to give those guys a ton of credit."

Tampa Bay withstood the bizarre departure of starting goaltender Ben Bishop not once but twice in the third period. Without much of a warning, Bishop left the ice and had to be replaced by rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Cooper would not say what was wrong with Bishop, but Vasilevskiy was in net for Jason Garrison's game-winner on the power play and stopped all five shots he faced for the victory.

"Every game I'm just ready and if coach tell me to go in, I go in," the soft-spoken Russian 20-year-old said. "Nervous? Just maybe a little bit but after the first couple shots, I feel myself better."

Bishop's exits baffled the Lightning so much that captain Steven Stamkos said they had to listen to public-address announcements to know who was in goal. But that was just one chapter of the chaos.

In the opening minutes, goals seemed so inevitable the goal-horn operator accidentally triggered it when J.T. Brown hit the back of the net. All that followed was a series of seven goals, including one that probably shouldn't have counted.

Cedric Paquette, Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead heading into the third period. Brent Seabrook would tie it early in the third after a controversial goal that left Bishop livid. Chicago winger Marian Hossa appeared to move Bishop's left pad with his stick as Seabrook was shooting. …

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