TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The latest from Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final:
11:42 p.m. EDT
Teuvo Teravainen looked right at home in his first Stanley Cup Final.
The 20-year-old forward powered Chicago to a 2-1 victory at Tampa Bay in Game 1. He had the tying goal with 6:32 remaining, snapping a shot through a screen, and then set up Antoine Vermette’s winning score two minutes later.
“I thought he got better like our team did as the game went on,” coach Joel Quenneville said.
Teravainen, a native of Helsinki, Finland, has long been regarded as of the NHL’s top prospects. He has three goals and five assists in this postseason, developing a nice chemistry while playing with Vermette and Patrick Sharp on the third line.
“He’s growing more confident every game,” teammate Marian Hossa said. “He doesn’t seem to have a heartbeat. He’s so calm. He’s Finnish cold.”
10:45 p.m. EDT
Teuvo Teravainen and Antoine Vermette scored in the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night.
Corey Crawford made 22 saves as Chicago earned its third straight playoff win. Game 2 is Saturday night.
Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn scored on a terrific redirection in the first period, and Ben Bishop had 19 stops for the Lightning.
Teravainen tied it with 6:32 remaining by snapping a shot through a screen.
Two minutes later, he tapped the puck off the stick off Lightning defenseman J.T. Brown inside the Tampa Bay zone. The puck slid into the slot to Vermette in the slot, where he snapped a shot into the top right corner.
10:27 p.m. EDT
The Lightning are a perfect 8-0 this postseason when holding a lead entering the third period, and had a 26-1-4 record in such games during the regular season.
The Blackhawks are 1-4 this postseason when trailing after two periods. Their lone win came in the early hours of April 22. That is when Chicago overcame a 2-1 deficit to pull out a 3-2 triple-overtime win over Nashville in Game 4 of its first-round series. The Blackhawks were 7-15-1 when trailing after two in the regular season.
10:10 p.m. EDT
Ben Bishop’s shutout streak has hit 100 minutes since the Tampa Bay goaltender was yanked after allowing five goals on 26 shots in a 7-3 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.
He has stopped 35 consecutive shots, including 13 through two periods against Chicago. The Blackhawks have not been shut out this postseason.
That’s a big turnaround for Bishop, who allowed five goals in each of his three previous starts at home against the Rangers.
Forward Patrick Kane and defenseman Brent Seabrook lead Chicago with three shots each.
9:56 p.m. EDT
The Lightning turned up the pressure on the Blackhawks at the end of the second and carried a 1-0 lead into the second intermission. Tampa Bay had 18 shots on goal, compared to 13 for Chicago.
The Lightning had a chance to increase their lead, but Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford stepped up in the final minutes of the second.
First, he managed to track and glove a point shot that deflected off the stick of Chicago captain Jonathan Toews in front. A minute later, Crawford kicked out his right pad to stop Steven Stamkos blast on the fly from the right circle.
Then, with 1:40 left, Crawford closed his right arm tight to his body just in time to stop Stamkos’ shot from the slot.
Since allowing Alex Killorn’s goal on Tampa Bay’s fifth shot of the game, Crawford has stopped 13 in a row.
9:12 p.m. EDT
Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith entered the Stanley Cup Final leading the NHL while averaging more than 31 minutes of ice time per game, and very little has changed in Game 1.
Through one period, Keith led all skaters with 9:08 of ice time. He was followed by fellow Chicago defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson (8:41) and Johnny Oduya (8:33).
Chicago has gone with mostly four defensemen after Michal Rozsival broke his leg in Game 4 of its second-round series against Minnesota.
The Lightning’s ice-time leader was defenseman Anton Stralman with 8:17, followed by center Tyler Johnson’s eight minutes. No Tampa Bay player logged more than nine shifts in the opening 20 minutes.
8:57 p.m. EDT
Tampa Bay has a 1-0 lead over Chicago after one period in Game 1. The Blackhawks struggled to hold onto the puck for much of the early going, but picked up their play when coach Joel Quenneville tried a line of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad with five minutes to go.
Backed by defensemen Duncan Keith and David Runblad, the group applied sustained pressure in the Lightning zone for about 30 seconds. A minute later, Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison was penalized for cross-checking.
The Lightning killed off the penalty, but the Blackhawks finally gained a semblance of momentum after playing much of the first 15 minutes of the opening period inside their own zone.
8:49 p.m. EDT
The Lightning were outshooting the Blackhawks 10-3 through 14 minutes of the first period, and also have the 1-0 edge on the scoreboard.
Tampa Bay is 9-0 this postseason when scoring the opening goal. It was 35-7-4 in such games during the regular season in winning a franchise-best 50 games.
The Blackhawks, by comparison, are 3-4 this postseason when allowing the first goal, and were 13-19-4 in such games in the regular season.
8:38 p.m. EDT
Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn scored the first goal of the Stanley Cup Final. The versatile forward has emerged as an elite forward with eight goals so far in the postseason, continuing his rapid rise since his four-year career at Harvard.
Like Ned Braden in the classic hockey film “Slap Shot,” Killorn knows some of his Ivy League classmates wondered why he was interested in riding buses in the minor leagues while they went on to high-paying jobs. Now that he’s a top-six forward on the Eastern Conference champions, things have changed.
“I look at what my friends are doing right now, sitting in offices from 5 in the morning until 9 at night, and I’m pretty happy with what I’m doing,” he said Tuesday.
8:18 p.m. EDT
When it comes to the race for the Stanley Cup, Game 1 is an important one.
Since 1939, the winner of the opening game has gone on to claim the Cup 58 times, while the Game 1 loser has rallied to win just 17, according to STATS. The Game 1 winner has taken each of the last three finals and seven of the past nine.
Of course, keep in mind the Lightning were an exception when they won the title in 2004. They lost the opener 4-1 to Calgary before winning the series in seven games.
7:58 p.m. EDT
Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell, who got hurt in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals, has been ruled out for the Stanley Cup opener. Assistant coach Mike Kitchen tells NHL Network it is a precautionary move, and Kris Versteeg will take his place.
Versteeg was in Toronto on Monday to be with his wife, Brittany, for the birth of their first child, son Jaxson James Versteeg. A few hours later, Versteeg rejoined his teammates in Florida.
7:55 p.m. EDT
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has few major problems with his league as the Stanley Cup Final gets underway in a model Sun Belt market, but he took time in his state-of-the-league news conference to address perceived problems with two other warm-weather clubs.
Bettman said he believes the Florida Panthers “are on the absolute right track” under owner Vincent Viola, dismissing rumors of relocation or bankruptcy as complete fiction.
As for the perpetually struggling Arizona Coyotes, Bettman insists he isn’t worried about continuing financial problems since the league sold the team: “The club is not going anywhere.”
7:20 p.m. EDT
And now for some notes:
–The Lighting became the first team to team in the NHL’s expansion era to beat three Original Six franchises (Detroit, Montreal and the New York Rangers) to reach the Stanley Cup Final. There is only one left standing in their way, Chicago, after the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs failed to qualify for the postseason.
–The Blackhawks are 1-2-4 in their past seven meetings against the Lightning, and haven’t defeated Tampa Bay in regulation since a 4-0 win at Chicago on Dec. 13, 2009. They also are 0-1-3 in their last four visits to Tampa Bay since a 5-3 win on Feb. 17, 2009.
–Chicago converted five of 26 power-play opportunities against Anaheim in the Western Conference finals, and is 10 of 51 overall. The Blackhawks are 7-0 this postseason when they score on the man advantage. For the Lightning, after converting just two of 34 chances in their first eight playoff games, they have gone 14 of 38 in their past 12 games.
–Explain this: Lightning goalie Ben Bishop has allowed 15 goals on 78 shots in his last three home playoff games — all losses. By comparison, Bishop has stopped all 48 shots he has faced in his past two road games.
–The Blackhawks have 17 players who have won a combined 24 Stanley Cup titles. The Lightning have just six players who have appeared in the final, with Valtteri Filppula the only one to win a Cup, with the 2008 Red Wings.
7:01 p.m. EDT
Yeah, so about those plans to limit ticket sales to Blackhawks fans in Tampa …
It’s about 75 minutes before the opening faceoff of the Stanley Cup Final, and the visiting team’s tunnel at Amalie Arena is surrounded by several dozen fans in red Blackhawks jerseys. The same jerseys and their black counterparts already are all over the arena, which just opened its doors several minutes ago.
The Lightning have a policy prohibiting ticket purchases with a credit card linked to a state other than Florida, and the club has a policy against wearing the opposing team’s logo on two of Amalie Arena’s club levels.
None of it stopped the Blackhawks’ fans from turning out in droves, a development that surprises nobody — not even NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who has no problem with the policy.
“I believe that the Lightning are attempting to create as good a home atmosphere as possible,” Bettman said before the opener. “The interesting thing is they apparently have the luxury of knowing that the building is sold out, even if they try to limit tickets. Now having said that, any Blackhawk fan that really wants to get into the game can figure out a way to do it. It’s not all that difficult.”
6:45 p.m. EDT
Rocky Wirtz, the Chicago Blackhawks’ principal owner and chairman, just arrived at Amalie Arena for the Stanley Cup Final opener along with team President John McDonough. They stopped to watch a group of Blackhawks playing soccer in the arena hallway. Wirtz is widely credited for kicking off the Blackhawks’ current renaissance by abandoning many of his father’s longtime policies after Bill Wirtz’s death in 2007.
6:45 p.m. EDT
It’s almost time for the opening faceoff in Tampa.
The streets and plazas around Amalie Arena began filling with hockey fans several hours before the Lightning took on the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final opener Wednesday.
Downtown Tampa is festooned with banners, flags, sidewalk stickers and fans supporting the Eastern Conference champions, who are in their first final since 2004. Dozens of people gathered around a merchandise trailer before it even opened outside the arena on a humid afternoon, hoping to purchase souvenir pucks before they were out of stock.
Yet dozens of fans in red Blackhawks jerseys already were roaming the Tampa streets on the morning of Game 1, and their numbers will only multiply despite the Lightning’s ticketing policies designed to limit the number of road fans in the arena. Chicago has one of the NHL’s best traveling fan bases, and thousands of transplants live within easy driving distance of every Sun Belt NHL city.
“You can’t stop Blackhawks fans, so why even try?” asked Jennifer Smythe, a Schaumburg, Illinois, native now living in Tampa.
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