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Pregame primer: Stanley Cup Final Game 2


Pregame primer: Stanley Cup Final Game 2

News, notes and quotes as the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks get set to resume the Stanley Cup Final tonight in Tampa with Game 2 [7:15 p.m., NBC]:

Series at a glance: The Blackhawks won the series opener 2-1 when forwards Teuvu Teravainen and Antoine Vermette scored back-to-back, third-period goals.

Comeback kids: Dating to Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final – which also featured the Blackhawks – five of the past seven Stanley Cup Final games have seen the victorious team overcome a deficit at any point in the contest, including four in the third period.

Last Seven Stanley Cup Final Games

2015: Game 1 – CHI 2 at TBL 1 (CHI trailed 1-0 in 3rd period)
2014: Game 5 – NYR 2 at LAK 3 (2OT) (LAK trailed 2-1 in 3rd period)
2014: Game 4 – LAK 1 at NYR 2*
2014: Game 3 – LAK 3 at NYR 0*
2014: Game 2 – NYR 4 at LAK 5 (2OT) (LAK trailed 4-2 in 3rd period)
2014: Game 1 – NYR 2 at LAK 3 (OT) (LAK trailed 2-0 in 1st period)
2013: Game 6 – CHI 3 at BOS 2 (CHI trailed 2-1 in 3rd period)
Winning team did not trail.

Including Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, the Blackhawks have led for a combined 5:33 in their last two Stanley Cup Final games (out of 120:00 total) – both wins.
The last two Stanley Cup winners have trailed for more time than they have led during the course of the series. The Blackhawks led for 21.0 percent of total playing time in 2013 (BOS: 23.1 percent) and the Kings led for 18.8 percent of total playing time in 2014 (NYR: 30 percent).

The Kings, who won Games 1 and 2 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final vs. NYR, did not hold the lead in either contest until scoring the decisive goal in overtime.

NBC ratings: Game 1 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final produced a 3.34 household rating and averaged 5.547 million viewers, making it the most-watched Game 1 that did not require overtime in 18 years and NBC’s second most-watched Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final ever.

Viewership of Game 1 was up 16 percent compared to Game 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final between the Kings and Rangers (4.785 million viewers). The only Game 1 on NBC to surpass Wednesday’s viewership was Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final between the Blackhawks and Bruins, which was decided in triple-overtime (6.315 million viewers).
The game peaked with 6.433 million viewers from 10:30 – 10:45 p.m. ET. 

RELATED: What changes would you make for next NHL season?

What the Lightning are saying:

“This will be a different test for our group. I think we look at all the positives in [Game 1]. There was a lot. I know that was the first game for a lot of us in the Final, but I don’t think that’s an excuse for our group anymore. We got that out of the way. We played extremely well, especially the first two periods. If we’re in that position again, we’ll make the necessary adjustments. But there’s a lot of good things, and we’re going to build on that.” – Lightning captain Steven Stamkos

“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to try to win every playoff game. I think that’s the way you approach it. You approach the game, you want to win it. You want to do everything you can to do it. That’s the way we’re going to approach tomorrow, the same way we approached Game 1.” – Lightning forward Ryan Callahan

“We’re here for a reason. I think we’re a really good team. We need to be able to understand that we can lock it down by playing our game, skating forward, forechecking, taking the puck out of their hands. They’re a really good team, too, if you give them too much time and space. They can hurt you.” – Lightning forward Brian Boyle

“We respect everybody, but there’s no fear in the room. Especially after playing [Wednesday] night’s game, when you’re feeling out your opponent a little bit . . . We got a taste of who we were playing against. It’s probably in our style. This is four series; third one where we’ve lost Game 1. We’ve never made it easy on ourselves. But we came here to win this thing, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.” – Lightning head coach Jon Cooper

What the Blackhawks are saying:

“I think we know that we didn’t play our best game. I think we finally started to find our game late in the game. You can go over and over the parts of the game where they could have opened it wide up and maybe we wouldn’t have had a chance to get back and find ways to win the game. But [Corey Crawford] played great. It’s not the first time he’s stolen a game for us in these playoffs and throughout this season. So for the most part I think we found our game slowly as the game went on.” – Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews 

“This is very exciting. It is something I was looking forward to. I’ve been saying all along this is a great opportunity. Trying to make the best out of it. We have a good group, great players. This is a very exciting moment. Every time you have a chance to play at that time of the year, this is something you want to grab and take advantage of it.” – Blackhawks forward Antoine Vermette

“I think there’s always a feeling in our locker room when we’re down a goal or couple of goals that we might come back. There’s always a feeling. I think it’s just a great thing to have there.” – Blackhawks forward Teuvo Teravainen 

“I thought Game 1 we weren’t quick enough to begin. I think we found out how fast they really are. Certainly got our attention. When you’re down in the third period, you’re pressing. I’m not saying gambling, but you’re pushing the envelope. We got a couple of breaks. But there’s not a lot of room out there, not a lot of time. But I think our team realizes now everything’s got to be fast, quicker. The strength of our team is finding ways to win. [Wednesday] was a good example.” – Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville

MORE CAPITALS NEWS: End of season review: Mike Green

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Newest Caps defenseman Radko Gudas happy for a fresh start in D.C.

USA Today Sports Images

Newest Caps defenseman Radko Gudas happy for a fresh start in D.C.

Radko Gudas was surprised, but also relieved. A different year in Philadelphia, where everything seemed to go wrong for the Flyers, is behind him now. He plays for the Capitals now. 


“I was a little bit shocked to be honest,” Gudas said in a conference call on Tuesday. “But when I heard where I'm going, I was pretty happy that I got traded to a team that's well known for their winning and their will to win every game they play.”


It capped a whirlwind few days for the 29-year-old, a polarizing figure in the sport along the lines of Washington forward Tom Wilson. Gudas has been suspended four times by the NHL Department of Player Safety. To say he plays the game on the edge is an understatement.


“Staying on right line of suspensions: It's always tough lately in the hockey these last few years,” Gudas said. “I worked on it in the summer and I thought I adjusted the game enough to still be able to play physical, just not be a liability out there for my team. It's always something hard to adjust, but we still have to do it. It's our job.”


In the midst of a rough year for Philadelphia that saw a coach firing and a late playoff surge fall short, Gudas took advantage of increased ice time – and cut his penalty minutes to 63 from a high of 116 when he joined the Flyers four years earlier. He will never be a big offensive threat, but he’s figured out how to suppress shots and play a reliable defensive game.


At a friend’s wedding in the Czech Republic on Friday when he got the news, Gudas received messages from his new teammates and wasn’t even sure who, exactly, of the Capitals coaches he spoke with. There was a lot going on. But he’s excited to play “for a well oiled machine” like Washington, which has its 2018 Stanley Cup and has won the Metropolitan Division four years in a row. 


Gudas knows fellow Washington defenseman Michal Kempny, 29, well. The two men were born just three months apart in 1990 and were teammates on the World Juniors under-18 Czech Republic team in 2008. They reconnected in 2017 for the Czech Republics’ entry in the IIHF World Championships. Jakub Vrana, 23, is a third Czech on one of the NHL’s most diverse rosters and played with Gudas at the 2019 World Championships. Kempny was still recovering from a torn hamstring sustained during the regular season. 


That familiarity is nice, but Gudas has been traded before when Tampa Bay sent him to Philadelphia in 2015. You just adjust to the role given with your new team. He’s ready for a fresh start with the Capitals. 


“They’re the winners from last year, they were the contenders this year,” Gudas said. “They always have a good team. They in the playoffs every year all these years. Play my simple game, the guys to know what to expect for me and know I’ll be there for them.”

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Capitals Talk hosts "Capitals On the Clock" special: How to watch, live stream, listen

Capitals Talk hosts "Capitals On the Clock" special: How to watch, live stream, listen

With the NHL Draft just a few days away in Vancouver and after countless mock drafts, NBC Sports Washington will have you covered as the Capitals decide who to take with the 25th overall pick.

As part of NBC Sports Washington's coverage of the NHL Draft, the Capitals Talk Podcast will host 'Capitals On the Clock: Draft Night' on linear television and as a live stream on the NBC Sports MyTeams app.

Capitals Talk will sit down with Rob Carlin, Grant Paulsen, Al Koken, Michael Jenkins, J.J. Regan and Brian McNally to discuss the Capitals the 2019 Draft. They'll be joined by Zack Fisch, Manager of Media Relations & Broadcasting with the Hershey Bears, who will shed light on who's ready to make the jump from the AHL to the NHL.

The live stream will also include an NHL and Capitals Draft trivia segment which fans will be able to play along with.

And if you haven't already downloaded the MyTeams App, you can do so right now, RIGHT HERE.

Capitals Talk Podcast "Capitals on the Clock" Special

When: 8 p.m. Friday June 21

Where: NBC Sports Washington and NBC Sports MyTeams App