Saturday, June 13, 2015

Chicago Takes 3-2 Lead in Stanley Cup Final

The Chicago Blackhawks are one win from their third Stanley Cup championship in six years.

The visitors held on for a 2-1 win tonight over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena in Florida in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Chicago now leads the best-of-seven series, three games to two, having won the last two games.

Chicago forward Patrick Sharp (Vemont) opened the scoring Saturday with his first goal in 14 games, putting the puck into an empty net after Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop (Maine) came out to play it and collided with defenseman Victor Hedberg in the faceoff circle. It was Sharp's first goal since May 3 against Minnesota in the second round of the NHL playoffs.

The Lightning knotted matters in the second stanza as Jason Garrison (Minnesota-Duluth) set up Valteri Filppula from the left point to the right side; but the Blackhawks went back ahead for good as Antoine Vermette followed up a rebound exactly two minutes into the final frame.

Bishop finished with 27 saves for Tampa Bay, which outshot Chicago, 32-29, but has now lost two consecutive contests for the first time in this series. The Lightning, who won Games 2 and 3, and claimed their only previous Cup in 2004, will attempt to stay alive with a victory in Game 6 on Monday (8 p.m. ET, NBC) at the United Center in Chicago.

The Blackhawks last won a Cup on home ice in 1938. Game 7, if necessary, would be Wednesday night in Tampa.

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