The Latest: Tampa Bay evens Stanley Cup Final with 4-3 win

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The latest from Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning, at Amalie Arena on Saturday night. All times listed are Eastern:


10:00 p.m.

Tyler Johnson scored his NHL playoff-leading 13th goal and Andrei Vasilevky came off the bench to make a big save in the closing minutes Saturday night as the Tampa Bay Lightning evened the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist and Cedric Paquette and Jason Garrison also scored for the Lightning, who improved to 4-0 in Game 2s during their postseason run, with three of those wins following losses in series openers.

Vasilevsky replaced Ben Bishop on two different occasions in the third period. He was on the ice when Garrison’s power-play goal snapped 3-3 with 11 minutes remaining and was in line to get his first career playoff win, even before Bishop was removed for the game again with 7:41 remaining. The backup goalie’s pad save protected the 4-3 lead on Chicago’s last power-play opportunity.

It was not immediately clear why Bishop did not finish the game.

The best-of-seven series shifts to Chicago for Game 3 on Monday night, with the teams tied 1-1.


9:48 p.m.

Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop has exited Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final again with less than eight minutes remaining in regulation.


9:45 p.m.

Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop has returned after briefly leaving the game and being replaced by Andrei Vasilevsky during a Lightning power-play opportunity that led to a goal for Jason Garrison.

Garrison put the Eastern Conference champions back on top 4-3 with 11:11 remaining in the third period.

Garrison scored his second goal of the playoffs on a shot that deflected off the skate of a Chicago player before continuing past goalie Corey Crawford.

It’s unclear why Bishop left the game, though announcers on television said they believed he was adjusting his equipment. He returned after the goal was scored.

If the score remains 4-3, Vasilevsky will get his first career playoff win.


9:33 p.m.

Chicago’s Brent Seabrook scored at 3:38 of the third period to make it 3-3 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Jonathan Toews and Johnny Oduya assisted on the goal, which was reviewed after Lightning goalie Ben Bishop complained that he may have been interfered with on the play, with a player’s stick near the pad on his left shin.

The shot through heavy traffic in front of the net went over Bishop’s left leg.


9:22 p.m.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville has split up his two stars for the third period, putting captain Jonathan Toews on a line with Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa.

Toews was with Patrick Kane in the first two periods, but the duo generated just one combined shot.


9:15 p.m.

The Lightning lead Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final 3-2 after 40 minutes, following a fast-paced second period in which each team scored twice.

Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop has stopped 17 of 19 shots through two periods. Chicago’s Corey Crawford has stopped 19 of 22 shots.

Lightning center Tyler Johnson ended a five-game scoring drought with his NHL-leading 13th goal of the playoffs.

Earlier in the day, he said he didn’t feel pressure to score, but did feel like he and the rest of Tampa Bay’s potent “Triplets” line — Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat — had been “playing just average.”

Kucherov also stepped up with a goal and an assist in the second period.

“It’s always nice to get goals. … But there’s a lot more to the game than scoring goals,” Johnson said after Tampa Bay’s morning skate.

“We were still winning games, those games I haven’t scored. So as long as we’re winning it doesn’t matter. I want to be better,” he said. “I want to play better and be the best I can, but there are a lot more aspects I want to work on my game than scoring goals.”


8:54 p.m.

The Lightning have gone ahead again, taking a 3-2 lead with six minutes remaining in the second period on Tyler Johnson’s playoff-leading 13th goal.

His backshot shot rolled up the back of Corey Crawford’s body when the Chicago goalie failed to get close enough to the left post to keep the puck from rolling into the net. Nikita Kucherov assisted on the goal.

Johnson had gone five games without scoring. He and Kucherov are part of the “Triplets” line that has accounted for more than half of Tampa Bay’s goals during the playoffs.


8:53 p.m.

Marian Hossa’s assist on Tuevo Teravainen’s goal was the 92nd of his 190-game playoff career, tying him with Gordie Howe and Scott Stevens for 28th place in league history.

He had been tied with Chicago hero Stan Mikita in 30th place.


8:35 p.m.

Chicago scored two quick goals to flip a deficit into a one-goal lead, but Tampa Bay responded quickly with a goal of its own to tie the second game of the Stanley Cup Final at 2-2 midway through the second period.

The Blackhawks tied it 1-1 on Andrew Shaw’s tap-in on a shot that never reached Ben Bishop. Andrew Desjardins shot into heavy traffic in front of the net. The puck slid into the crease where Shaw reached out and put it in the net.

They went ahead just 2 minutes, 14 seconds later on Tuevo Teravainen’s power-play goal, his second goal of the series.

Tampa Bay quickly tied the game on a goal from Nikita Kucherov.


8:29 p.m.

The second period is underway in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Blackhawks finished killing Tampa Bay’s first power-play opportunity and there’s been a scoring change on Paquette’s goal.

Initially announced as unassisted at 12:56 of the first period, Tampa Bay’s Ryan Callahan and Victor Hedman have been credited with assists.


8:10 p.m.

The Blackhawks didn’t dress young defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, but they’re still essentially relying on four blueliners.

Kyle Cumiskey played only three shifts in the first period, but wasn’t able to help when Paquette scored for Tampa Bay.

David Rundblad played six shifts, but was on the ice for only 1:49. Brent Seabrook played a whopping 10:16, and Duncan Keith logged 9:20.


8:07 p.m.

The Lightning vowed to come out more aggressive in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night. So far, they have.

They outshot the Blackhawks 12-11 in the first 20 minutes, and will begin the second period with a 1-0 lead and 28 seconds remaining on the first power-play opportunity of the game.


7:56 p.m.

Cedric Paquette scored an unassisted goal on a wrist shot from the right circle to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead with just over seven minutes remaining in the first period of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. It’s his second goal of the playoffs.

Tampa Bay is 9-1 when scoring first in the playoffs. The lone loss was in Game 1 of the Cup final. Chicago is 4-4 when opponents score first.


7:50 p.m.

Game 2 is off to a rousing start with both teams playing aggressively and working for scoring chances.

Tampa’s “Triplets” line — Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov — got two shots in the opening 6 minutes, matching its combined total from all of Game 1. Johnson also rang a shot off Corey Crawford’s post.


7:45 p.m.

Goalies Corey Crawford and Ben Bishop are both busy early.

Tampa Bay got off five shots and Chicago four in the first five minutes of the game.

The sellout crowd prematurely began to celebrate when a shot by Cedric Paquette hit the side of the net and the foghorn blew briefly as play continued.


7:30 p.m.

Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final is underway after a rousing pregame ceremony featuring video highlights of the Lightning’s playoff run to the championship round and Game 1 on Wednesday night.

It’s also official: forward Bryan Bickell is out for the Blackhawks, and rookie forward Jonathan Drouin in for the Lightning. Drouin replaces defenseman Nikita Nesterov in move aimed at generating more offense from Tampa Bay’s secondary lines.


6:40 p.m.

The Chicago Blackhawks say they’re approaching Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final as a must win situation, even though they rallied for a 2-1 win in the series opener.

The Lightning scored in the first five minutes and used a defense-first game plan to protect the lead perfectly until Chicago scored twice during a two-minute span in the third period to escape with the victory.

After a two day break, Lightning coach Jon Cooper could increase playing time for star Steven Stamkos, who wasn’t on the ice for the final 51 seconds of Game 1.

Cooper gave a testy response Saturday morning when asked whether he plans to play Stamkos more. The player who’s led the league twice in goals scored played just over 17 minutes in Game 1, more than 2 minutes less than his average during the regular season.

“I don’t know what that means. Should I just play him the whole game, like all 60?” Cooper said.

When the reporter suggested maybe the three-time All-Star maybe should play somewhere between 18 and 22 minutes, Cooper fired back.

“Eighteen, OK. So if he plays 20 minutes, I should give him two more shifts,” the coach said, “I’ll think about that tonight.”

Stamkos scored 43 goals during the regular season, ranking second in the NHL.

Stamkos led Lightning forwards in playing time during the regular season. Five other forwards — Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, Valtteri Filppula and Nikita Kucherov all were on the ice more during Game 1.


6:15 p.m.

Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final is the 200th NHL playoff game for Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, who guided Chicago to Stanley Cup titles in 2010 and 2013.

He’s the third coach to reach that plateau, joining Scotty Bowman (353) and Al Arbour (209). His 112 postseason wins also rank third all-time behind Bowman (223), currently a senior advisor for the Blackhawks, and Arbour (123).

Bowman, who lives in Sarasota, Florida, is at Amalie Arena for the final. He has won 13 Stanley Cups, including a record nine as a coach. The other four have come in management roles, two with the Blackhawks.

Asked which is more difficult, coaching in the Final or watching from his seat in the press box, the Hall of Famer said: “It’s tougher watching because when you’re coaching you can do something about it. When you’re in the press box you can’t do anything.”

There’s a good side to not being behind the bench, too.

“You can’t get criticized if you do something stupid,” he said, laughing.


5:40 p.m.

Lightning rookie left wing Jonathan Drouin said he’ll skate with the team in warmups on Saturday before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The third overall pick in the 2013 draft has been a healthy scratch for 10 consecutive games, dating to Game 4 of Tampa Bay’s second-round series against Montreal. He’s appeared in just three postseason games, and concedes it’s not easy to retain confidence when you’re not playing.

He vowed earlier Saturday to be ready if Cooper inserts him into the lineup.

“There’s not much I can do about it,’ Drouin said. “If it was my decision, I’d be on the ice every night.”

The rookie said he understands why he’s not playing as much as he’d like, however that doesn’t make it any easier to accept.

“Look at our team, our depth. They’re the reason we’re in the Stanley Cup. We have a lot of good forwards and a lot of good D. It’s a hard lineup to crack,” Drouin said. “You look, Mark Barberio is a really good defenseman and has trouble getting in any night. Same for me. It is hard, though.”

Cooper would not say whether Drouin would play. He didn’t sound overly concerned, though, about how well the young forward might be capable of playing after a long layoff.

“Your job as a player, you have to be a pro. You have to make yourself ready,” Cooper said.


AP Sports Writer Greg Beacham contributed to this report.

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