June 9, 2015 / 9:55 PM / 4 years ago

Lightning wary of Blackhawks' Game Four prowess

(Reuters) - After pulling off successive come-from-behind victories to snatch the lead in the Stanley Cup Final, the Tampa Bay Lightning are well aware of the Chicago Blackhawks’ knack for being at their best in Game Fours.

Jun 8, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) celebrates after scoring during the third period of game three of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks, who trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series after a 3-2 loss at home to Tampa Bay on Monday, have won Game Four in each of the three previous rounds — against the Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks.

Game Four in the Stanley Cup Final is set for Chicago on Wednesday.

“We’re going to get their best,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos told reporters on Tuesday. “We have to be prepared for that.

“Good teams — we’re certainly there — find ways to win games.”

This is the Blackhawks’ third trip to the Stanley Cup Final in six years, and they won on their previous two visits. In 2013, they battled back to beat the Boston Bruins after falling behind 2-1 in the championship series.

“Whether you win a game or lose a game ... the emotions are so high, so low,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “You win a game in the first round, you get that feeling you’re going all the way to the Cup, nothing can stop you.

“The next day you lose, all of a sudden the thought crosses your mind, ‘Better luck next year.’ You can dig deep and find a way to bounce back after tough games when the feeling isn’t so good.

“You realize you don’t have to waste any of that emotional or mental energy off the ice in between games. You shut it off and make sure you’re ready for the next one.”

The Blackhawks have gone a clutch 40-14 in Games Four through Seven under head coach Joel Quenneville in the past seven playoffs, compared to a 30-30 record in Games One through Three.

The Lightning, however, have an outstanding 8-3 road record in this playoff run, which is just two wins shy of the league record set by the Los Angeles Kings in 2012.

“We don’t want to get too high or get too low,” veteran Lightning forward Brenden Morrow said. “We’re a long ways away yet. That locker room over there, there’s no panic in their game right now.

“We got to keep plugging away here. We came here to get a win. Last night we got one. We got to get greedy and get another one.”

Reporting by Tim Wharnsby; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes

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