News, notes and quotes as the Tampa Bay Lightning savor Saturday night’s 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks and head to Chicago with the Stanley Cup Final knotted at one win apiece:
How do you spell relief: He only played 9:13 in relief of starter Ben Bishop, but rookie Lightning backup goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all five shots he faced in a pair of stints during the third period (from 7:17 to 8:49 and from 12:19 to the end of regulation) to pick up the win. Vasilevskiy was credited as the game-winning goaltender because he was on the ice when Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison scored the game-winning goal at 8:49 of the third period.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Vasilevskiy became the first goaltender to post a Stanley Cup Final victory in a relief role since Pittsburgh's Frank Pietrangelo made 15 saves in 40 minutes to lead the Penguins to a 6-4 win over the Minnesota North Stars in Game 5 in 1991.
Selected 19th overall by the Lightning in the 2012 NHL draft, the 20-year-old native of Tyumen, Russia entered Game 2 having made two relief appearances during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs in blowout losses to the Rangers (7-3 on May 26) and Canadiens (6-2 on May 7). Vasilevskiy also became the first goaltender to win his first career playoff game in relief in the Stanley Cup Final since April 7, 1928, when Lester Patrick – the coach of the Rangers – came in to backstop the team to a 2-1 overtime victory in Game 2 against the Montreal Maroons at Montreal.
The last goaltender to earn his first career playoff win in the Stanley Cup Final – as a starter – was Jussi Markkanen, who achieved the feat with the Oilers on June 10, 2006 in Game 3 against Carolina (24 saves in a 2-1 win).
Conn Smythe?: Tampa forward Tyler Johnson set a franchise record with his 13th goal of the playoffs, surpassing Ruslan Fedotenko and current Blackhawks forward Brad Richards, each of whom tallied 12 goals for the Lightning during their run to the Stanley Cup in 2004.
Triple threat: The Lightning's "Triplets" line of Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat combined for three points in Game 2 and have accounted for half of the Bolts’ offense in the playoffs with 30 points. Johnson has 13 goals and 9 assists for 22 points; Kucherov has 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points; and Palat has 7 goals and 8 assists for 15 points. Toss in Steven Stamkos (7-10-17) and Alex Killorn (8-9-17) and the quintet has accounted for three-quarters of Tampa’s 60 goals this postseason (45 of 60).
Century mark for Toews: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews recorded the 100th playoff point of his NHL career (38-62-100 in 113 GP) by earning an assist on the goal by Brent Seabrook that tied the game 3-3 at 3:38 of the third period. Toews is the
92nd player in NHL history and 14th active skater to reach the milestone. Four of the 14 active NHLers with at least 100 playoff points play for the Blackhawks -- Toews, Marian Hossa (49-92-141), Patrick Kane (47-64-111) and Brad Richards (35-66-101).
Toews, who has spent his entire career with the Blackhawks, became the sixth player in franchise history to reach the 100-point milestone in the
postseason. The others: Stan Mikita (155), Denis Savard (131), Bobby Hull (116), Kane (111) and Steve Larmer (107).
Good company: Brent Seabrook netted his seventh goal of the post-season, setting a Blackhawks record for goals by a defenseman in one playoff season. He shared the previous record of six with Chris Chelios, who set the mark in 1992.
Seabrook, who has spent his entire career with the Blackhawks, also equaled a franchise record for career playoff goals by a defenseman (19). He can pass Bob
Murray and Doug Wilson with another goal.
RemarQable: Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final marked the 200th playoff game behind the bench for Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville (112-88). Only two other
head coaches in NHL history have reached the milestone: Scotty Bowman (353) and Al Arbour (209). Quenneville also ranks third behind Bowman (223) and Arbour (123) for the most playoff wins by a head coach in NHL history.
By the numbers: Teams winning Game 2 have gone on to hoist the Stanley Cup 74.7 percent of the time since the Final went to the best-of-seven format in 1939 (56-of-75 series), including nine of the past 12 occasions.
The Lightning improved to 4-0 in Game 2s during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, outscoring opponents 21-8 in those contests. The Blackhawks fell to 2-2.
Seven of the past nine games between the Lightning and Blackhawks have been decided by one goal dating to March 9, 2011.
More than half of the games in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs (52 of 85, 61.2 percent) have been tied or within one goal entering the final five minutes of regulation, including Game 2.
More than one-third of the games this postseason have featured a comeback win (31 of 85, 36.5 percent), including Game 2.
The Lightning improved to 9-1 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs when leading after two periods. Tampa Bay had suffered its first playoff loss in such a scenario in Game 1 of the Final.
The Lightning improved to 10-1 when scoring the first goal during the playoffs, also having suffered their first playoff loss under such a scenario in Game 1 of the Final.
The Lightning improved to 8-1 following a loss in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
There will not be a sweep in the Stanley Cup Final for the 16th consecutive season. The last team to win in four games was the 1997-98 Red Wings, who swept the Caps in four games. The Red Wings also swept the Philadelphia Flyers in 1997.
They said it:
“I know we have two unbelievably capable goaltenders. When Bish had to leave, there wasn't an ounce of stress on anybody on our bench, including myself. I mean, the kid proved it when he went in. He was great.” – Lightning coach Jon Cooper on Vasilevskiy
“Well, I thought we were a lot more aggressive today than we were in Game 1. I thought Game 1 we were a little bit hesitant making plays.” - Lightning forward Tyler Johnson
“We get to go home, get excited, play in our building. I'm sure everybody will be loud and excited about us coming back.” – Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville