Hockey Night in Canada

Analysis

Blackhawks, Lightning regular-season series revisited

Like Montreal and New York Rangers before them, the Chicago Blackhawks realize they must find a way to limit the success of Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop and Steven Stamkos in the Stanley Cup final. The duo proved to be a handful in their regular-season meetings.

Bishop boasts 0.96 GAA, .970 save percentage in 2 games

Lightning centre Steven Stamkos, left, battles Blackhawks defenceman Kyle Cumiskey, right, during a Feb. 27 game in Tampa Bay. Stamkos scored twice that night in a 4-0 victory to give him 11 goals and 17 points in nine contests against Chicago. Lightning goalie Ben Bishop posted a 28-save shutout and he enters the Stanley Cup final with a 0.96 GAA and .970 save percentage this season versus the Blackhawks. (Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/Associated Press)

Once Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville and his players awoke on Sunday, following their NHL Western Conference final win over Anaheim a few hours earlier, it was probably time to start poring over video of the Tampa Bay Lightning, with special attention paid to Steven Stamkos and Ben Bishop.

Stamkos has 11 goals and 17 points in nine games against Chicago, including a pair of markers and three points in two contests this season.


2015 playoff scoring leaders

  • Tyler Johnson, TB, 21 points
  • Patrick Kane, Chi, 20
  • Nikita Kucherov, TB, 19
  • Jonathan Toews, Chi, 18
  • Duncan Keith, Chi, 18
  • Steven Stamkos, TB, 17

Bishop starred in both regular-season meetings, pitching a 28-save shutout in a 4-0 victory on Feb. 27 in Tampa after turning aside 37 of 39 shots in regulation and overtime of a 3-2 shootout loss at Chicago last Nov. 11.


Let's look a little deeper into each of these games:

Feb. 27, Amalie Arena, Tampa

Tampa Bay 4, Chicago 0

Top scorers

Chicago: None. Goalie Scott Darling made 25 saves.

Tampa Bay: Steven Stamkos (2 goals), Ryan Callahan (goal), Brian Boyle (goal), Jason Garrison (2 assists).

Recap: Fresh off a four-day break, the Lightning blanked a Chicago outfit that was playing its third game in five nights and first since losing star right-winger Patrick Kane to a broken left collarbone.

Noteworthy: Lightning went 2-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill … Tampa Bay had 28 shots and also missed 15, including four apiece by Stamkos and defenceman Jason Garrison … Lightning were quite physical, outhitting the Blackhawks 24-12, with Ryan Callahan and Brett Connolly leading the way with four each … Chicago blue-liner Duncan Keith had a game-high four blocked shots in 22 minutes 32 seconds of ice time … Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw dominated in the faceoff circle, winning seven of nine, while Valtteri Filppula was the biggest threat for Tampa on the draw, winning 13 of 20.

Nov. 11, United Center, Chicago

Chicago 3, Tampa Bay 2 (SO)

Top scorers

Chicago: Patrick Kane (shootout winner), Brad Richards (goal), Marcus Kruger (goal), Niklas Hjalmarsson (assist), Brandon Saad (assist), Kris Versteeg (assist), Marian Hossa (assist).

Tampa Bay: Nikita Kucherov (goal), Cedric Paquette (goal), Eric Brewer (assist), Ondrej Palat (assist), Jonathan Drouin (assist), Steven Stamkos (assist).

Recap: Chicago won for the third time in four games on the strength of Patrick Kane's well-placed backhander against Lightning goalie Ben Bishop in the shootout to seal a 3-2 victory.


Noteworthy: The Blackhawks had lost their previous five games to Tampa Bay, with four of them coming via shootout or overtime … Crawford denied all three of the Lightning's shooters in the shootout: Ryan Callahan, Kucherov and Stamkos … Tampa centre Tyler Johnson left in the third period after Chicago defenceman Brent Seabrook checked him in the back … Blackhawks rearguard Johnny Oduya also exited the game in the third with an apparent right leg injury … Bishop stopped Chicago captain Jonathan Toews on a 4-on-4 breakaway with 8:20 left in regulation in a 2-2 game … Lightning scratched forward Alex Killorn, which they won't do to start the Stanley Cup final … Each team was scoreless on the power play: Chicago went 0-for-6 and Tampa was 0-for-3 … Lightning outhit the Blackhawks 34-12, while Chicago had 15 giveaways to Tampa Bay's four.

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