The Blackhawks didn’t play their best game last night, but it was enough to win a tight game against a Lightning team that’s proving to be tougher than expected. Now with the Blackhawks tying the series at 2-2, the pressure is squarely back on Tampa to win on Saturday, a game they must have in order to not lose in 6.
Last night Ben Bishop sat out and Andrei Vasilevskiy played very well stopping 17 shots in a solid relief appearance. The Hawks were outshot by the Lightning but Corey Crawford was awesome as the fans have grown accustomed to him being. Brandon Saad again scored a big goal for the Hawks as it was his second game winner of these playoffs. The Lightning showed resiliency again after falling behind when Alex Killorn scored his second goal of these finals to tie the game at one. The Lightning would make a big push at the end of the game, but it wasn’t to be as Corey Crawford assured his team the win.
With the series shifting back to Tampa on Saturday, both teams will have a couple days off before resuming what is now a best of three. The Hawks did win Game 1 in Tampa and should feel pretty confident regardless of what goalie is in net for Jon Cooper’s Lightning. The stars of each team are still struggling, however both Jonathan Toews and Steven Stamkos did record a point in Game 4. The whereabouts of Patrick Kane are still unknown as he got just his first point of the series with an assist that resulted in Brandon Sadd’s GWG. The goal was a complete byproduct of Saad charging hard to the net, but perhaps getting his first point will allow Kane to relax a little bit heading into the pivotal game on Saturday.
For Tampa they need to continue to shoot, Corey Crawford knows the Lightning have been outplaying the Hawks and now that Tampa has a desperation game of their own it’ll be truly up to Crawford to give the Hawks a chance to close out at home on Monday. To be fair to both teams, they’ve played vert well and it’d be a shame for this series to not be decided by a winner take all Game 7 on Wednesday. Both Finals series of the spring have been fabulous to this point and with each sports’ finals possibly going the distance, the next week could bring some awesome drama if that’s the case.