Chicago Blackhawks One Game Away From Stanley Cup Victory

AP Photo
The Associated Press

With a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Chicago Blackhawks can win the Stanley Cup at home for the first time since 1938.

Lord Stanley’s Cup will be in the building on Monday night.

“We’re not denying it,” said Marian Hossa. “Everybody wants to win at home. We won two on the road but our focus is going to be to go period by period and just keep things simple.”

Antoine Vermette sent the Blackhawks to victory only two minutes into the third period. After goalie Ben Bishop stopped a breakaway shot from Kris Versteeg he kicked the puck into open ice and right to Vermette. With just a tap Vermette scored his fourth goal of the playoffs. All goals turned into major game-changers.

The Lightning experienced a scare when goalie Corey Crawford dived in front of the net to save a goal from Nikita Kucherov.

Kucherov tripped over Crawford and smashed into the goal post.

He did not return to the game. No one offered an explanation of his injury during the postgame press conference.

The Blackhawks managed 14 shots on goal in the first period, but the only goal they scored was bizarre. Bishop is well known for playing well outside his net. His daring ways haunted him tonight when he collided with Victor Hedman, which left the net wide open.

Patrick Sharp, who the Lightning mostly silenced during the series, swept up the puck and scored the first goal of the game.

The collision bothered Bishop, who struggled in Games 2 and 3 and completely missed Game 4 due to undisclosed injuries.

The Lightning quickly picked up the pace in the second period. They outshot the Hawks 12-8, but only Valtteri Filppupa squeaked in one goal.

They completely owned the third period except for the Vermette goal. Luckily for the Hawks, Crawford stayed sharp and focused, especially towards the end, as he faced 15 shots. With great defense, he barely encountered a rebound.

Game 6 is Monday night at 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC.