The last two minutes of last night’s Stanley Cup Final Game 4 is the reason why I think everyone should at least give hockey a chance. It was a one goal game, the goalie was pulled, and pucks and bodies were flying everywhere. The Chicago Blackhawks were able to hold on and win but boy did the Tampa Bay Lightning make it tough.
Last night was an absolute must win for the Hawks because losing the game would have meant going down 3-1 and having to win three straight with two in Tampa. Corey Crawford looked a lot better last night than he did in Game 3 and that was huge. He made timely stops and make the saves you need your goalie to make in bug moments.
One of the big stories in this game was who Crawford was squaring off against. I touched on how Ben Bishop was visibly hurt in Game 3, and apparently he was hurt enough where he couldn’t play and Andrei Vasilevskiy had to start. Vasilevskiy played extremely well given the circumstances.
The first period was scoreless but Tampa controlled play. They got some decent chances but nothing too dangerou. In the second period, the Hawks struck first with a goal by Jonathan Toews on a rebound. A little over five minutes later, though, Alex Killorn was able to score of an amazing feed from Valtteri Filppula to tie it.
Given how the game was going, the next goal was probably going to win it, and it did. At 06:22 of the third period, Brandon Saad was able to control the puck after a Brad Richards/Patrick Kane faceoff win, drive to the net, and put a backhander through Vasilevskiy’s five-hole.
After this goal, the tempo increased 10 fold. Both teams were flying around. It was honestly incredible to watch. Tampa pulled their goalie for the last two minutes or so and then chaos ensued. The Bolts missed a few open nets to tie the game but they just kept on coming. Chicago was never fully able to clear the puck so they were hemmed in their zone for the majority of the time. The Hawks held on, though, and now the series will go, at least, six.
TL;DR- Ben Bishop was hurt so Andrei Vasilevskiy started, Jonathan Toews scored a huge goal, Bolts were able to tie, Brandon Saad scored another go-ahead goal but this one stayed the game winner, and this series is now tied at two going back to Tampa.