CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Tampa Bay Lightning shrugged off a hostile Chicago crowd to score twice in the third period and beat the Blackhawks 3-2 on Monday, giving them a 2-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final.
After a split of the opening two games in the best-of-seven series, Chicago looked like they would seize the advantage when Brandon Saad put them 2-1 up early in the third.
However, that lead was wiped out almost immediately when Ondrej Palat equalized 13 seconds later, and with a little over three minutes left, the home crowd were stunned into silence again when Cedric Paquette tipped in a slick Victor Hedman pass for the winner.
Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop, who had to leave Saturday’s Game 2 in the third period, appeared to have mobility issues at times but he kept the Lightning in the game, particularly in the first period, when the Blackhawks outshot their opponents 17-9.
”He held the fort down for us for about 15 minutes in that first period, really came up huge and a got a little lucky at times too,” Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman told reporters in the locker room.
Bishop would not discuss the nature of the injury, but said it was a game-time decision to let him play.
“It’s going to take a lot to not play in a Stanley Cup Final game,” said the goaltender in a news conference.
Bishop made 36 saves while Chicago netminder Corey Crawford made 29.
Ryan Callahan opened the scoring for Tampa Bay at 5:09 in the first, also on a feed from Hedman, the second overall pick in the 2009 draft who has become a dominant blue-liner.
Chicago center Brad Richards tied the score at 1-1 on a slapshot at 14:22, and in the second period it was Tampa Bay’s turn to pepper the net, firing in 17 shots on Crawford.
The visitors had a two-man advantage for more than a minute when Bryan Bickell and Saad went to the box for penalties, but Crawford shut the door on the power play, which appeared to shift the momentum in Chicago’s favor.
However, in a series where no team has held more than a one-goal lead, momentum has been fleeting and after Saad put Chicago ahead in the third, the Lighting wasted little time in turning the tables.
Chicago will host Game Four on Wednesday.
Writing by by Cameron French Editing by Peter Rutherford