1. Lightning is gonna strike - so be ready. The Blackhawks were very fortunate to be down by just 1 goal after 2 periods of play on Wednesday night. Outskated, outplayed, outchecked and outhustled, it was only the excellent goaltending of Corey Crawford that kept them within striking distance in this game. Expect the same kind of start from Tampa tonight. They will get pucks deep and come at the defensemen with speed. I liked the adjustment the Hawks made “in game” by looking for the centerman up the middle. Tampa’s pinching D created havoc early, and expect them to be a big part of the forecheck again. Get back quickly, fake passes up the boards and look to the middle, and rely on Crawford to direct traffic and make the odd breakout pass himself.
[MORE GAME 2: TVR waits, Bryan Bickell heals for Blackhawks]
2. Teuvo Time. Consider yourself lucky Blackhawks fans. You are witnessing the growth of a great hockey player right before your eyes. Sent to the minors to start the year to get more seasoning, Teuvo Teravainen has been in and out of the lineup since the beginning of 2015. He’s even been in and out of the lineup in these playoffs on two separate occasions. But he may have lengthened his leash with the performance he’s provided these last few games. Yes, he has skill and speed and an offensive awareness that few players possess. But he is also very good at stealing pucks and creating turnovers with his quick stick and intelligence. On the game winning goal on Wednesday, Teuvo realized that the forechecking pressure of Patrick Sharp was going to produce a quick pass. He was in J.T. Brown’s face before the pass got there, and deftly poked it to a wide open Antoine Vermette for the game-tying goal. Teravainen’s confidence is peaking at just the right time.
[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
3. Killorn was a killer. I mentioned prior to last game that the line that had me worried was the Steven Stamkos, Valtteri Filppula, Alex Killorn trio. Killorn was very effective that night with not only the lone Lightning goal, but also five of Tampa’s 23 shots on net. Throw in the fact that this guy has five goals in his last seven games and you have a player that is trending upwards. He’s got good size at 6 feet 2 inches tall, and isn’t afraid of going hard to the net. While everyone is trying to take away Stamkos, one of the best shooters in the NHL, Killorn finds those seams and always is available. Keep an eye on Killorn and the rest of this line.