Vermette goal puts Chicago one win from Cup

Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:28am EDT
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(Reuters) - Antoine Vermette scored in the third period to earn Chicago a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Five, giving the Blackhawks the chance to clinch the Stanley Cup on home ice on Monday.

Vermette shoveled in a cross-ice pass from Kris Versteeg to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven finals on Saturday, deflating a Tampa Bay crowd that had been bolstered by the return of goaltender Ben Bishop after he missed Game Four with an undisclosed injury.

Chicago, who had been outplayed early in previous games during the series, came out hard on Sunday, testing Bishop from the start and carrying a 14-5 advantage in shots in the first period.

"I thought our start was something we haven't seen in the first four games, which was good," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville told reporters.

"We had some more time in the offensive zone and we weren't having to play in our own end."

Bishop was solid in his return, his one mistake coming on a bizarre play about six minutes in as he crashed into defenseman Victor Hedman while trying to clear the puck.

Chicago's Patrick Sharp stepped around the pair and put the puck into the empty net for a 1-0 lead.

"I just know there was a collision and I found myself with a heck of an opportunity, so (you) just make sure you put that one in," Sharp said.

Tampa Bay's Valtteri Filppula tied it just after the midway point of the second frame, ensuring the teams would enter the third period tied for the third straight game.   Continued...

Jun 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Antoine Vermette (80) battles for the puck with Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Andrej Sustr (62) in the third period game five of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports