BLACKHAWKS 2015-16 SCHEDULE.

2015-16 Preseason Schedule
Date Visitor Home Time (CT) Location
TUE Sep 22, 2015 Red Wings Blackhawks 7:30 PM UNITED CENTER
WED Sep 23, 2015 Blackhawks Red Wings 6:30 PM JOE LOUIS ARENA (DETROIT, MI)
FRI Sep 25, 2015 Blackhawks Canadiens
6:30 PM BELL CENTRE (MONTREAL)
SAT Sep 26, 2015 Blues Blackhawks 7:30 PM UNITED CENTER
THU Oct 1, 2015 Blackhawks Blues
7:00 PM SCOTTRADE CENTER (ST. LOUIS, MO)
SAT Oct 3, 2015 Stars Blackhawks 7:30 PM UNITED CENTER
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REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE
October 2015
Wed Oct 7, 2015 Rangers Blackhawks
7:00 PM Tickets
Fri Oct 9, 2015 Blackhawks Islanders
6:30 PM
Sat Oct 10, 2015 Islanders Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Wed Oct 14, 2015 Blackhawks Flyers
7:00 PM TVA
Thu Oct 15, 2015 Blackhawks Capitals
6:00 PM
Sat Oct 17, 2015 Blue Jackets Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Thu Oct 22, 2015 Panthers Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Sat Oct 24, 2015 Lightning Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Mon Oct 26, 2015 Ducks Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Thu Oct 29, 2015 Blackhawks Jets
7:00 PM
Fri Oct 30, 2015 Blackhawks Wild
7:00 PM
November 2015
Mon Nov 2, 2015 Kings Blackhawks
7:30 PM TVA Tickets
Wed Nov 4, 2015 Blues Blackhawks
7:00 PM TVA Tickets
Fri Nov 6, 2015 Blackhawks Devils
6:00 PM
Sun Nov 8, 2015 Oilers Blackhawks
7:00 PM SN Tickets
Thu Nov 12, 2015 Devils Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Sat Nov 14, 2015 Blackhawks Blues
7:00 PM
Sun Nov 15, 2015 Flames Blackhawks
7:30 PM SN1 Tickets
Wed Nov 18, 2015 Blackhawks Oilers
8:30 PM SN1
Fri Nov 20, 2015 Blackhawks Flames
8:00 PM
Sat Nov 21, 2015 Blackhawks Canucks
9:00 PM HNIC, TVA
Wed Nov 25, 2015 Blackhawks Sharks
9:30 PM
Fri Nov 27, 2015 Blackhawks Ducks
3:00 PM
Sat Nov 28, 2015 Blackhawks Kings
9:30 PM
December 2015
Tue Dec 1, 2015 Wild Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Thu Dec 3, 2015 Blackhawks Senators
6:30 PM
Sun Dec 6, 2015 Jets Blackhawks
4:00 PM Tickets
Tue Dec 8, 2015 Predators Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Thu Dec 10, 2015 Blackhawks Predators
7:00 PM
Fri Dec 11, 2015 Jets Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Sun Dec 13, 2015 Canucks Blackhawks
6:00 PM
Tue Dec 15, 2015 Avalanche Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Thu Dec 17, 2015 Oilers Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Sat Dec 19, 2015 Blackhawks Sabres
12:00 PM
Sun Dec 20, 2015 Sharks Blackhawks
6:00 PM Tickets
Tue Dec 22, 2015 Blackhawks Stars
7:30 PM
Sun Dec 27, 2015 Hurricanes Blackhawks
6:00 PM Tickets
Tue Dec 29, 2015 Blackhawks Coyotes
8:00 PM
Thu Dec 31, 2015 Blackhawks Avalanche
7:00 PM
January 2016
Date Visitor Home Time (CT) TV Network/Results
Tickets
Sun Jan 3, 2016 Senators Blackhawks
6:00 PM TVA, SN Tickets
Tue Jan 5, 2016 Blackhawks Penguins
6:00 PM
Wed Jan 6, 2016 Penguins Blackhawks
7:00 PM TVA Tickets
Fri Jan 8, 2016 Sabres Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Sun Jan 10, 2016 Avalanche Blackhawks
6:00 PM Tickets
Tue Jan 12, 2016 Predators Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Thu Jan 14, 2016 Blackhawks Canadiens
6:30 PM
Fri Jan 15, 2016 Blackhawks Maple Leafs
6:00 PM
Sun Jan 17, 2016 Canadiens Blackhawks
6:00 PM SN Tickets
Tue Jan 19, 2016 Blackhawks Predators
7:00 PM
Thu Jan 21, 2016 Blackhawks Lightning
6:30 PM TVA
Fri Jan 22, 2016 Blackhawks Panthers
6:30 PM
Sun Jan 24, 2016 Blues Blackhawks
6:00 PM Tickets
Tue Jan 26, 2016 Blackhawks Hurricanes
6:00 PM
February 2016
Tue Feb 2, 2016 Blackhawks Avalanche
8:00 PM
Thu Feb 4, 2016 Blackhawks Coyotes
8:00 PM
Sat Feb 6, 2016 Blackhawks Stars
7:00 PM
Tue Feb 9, 2016 Sharks Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Thu Feb 11, 2016 Stars Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Sat Feb 13, 2016 Ducks Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Mon Feb 15, 2016 Maple Leafs Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Wed Feb 17, 2016 Blackhawks Rangers
7:00 PM TVA
Sun Feb 21, 2016 Blackhawks Wild
2:30 PM TVA, SN
Thu Feb 25, 2016 Predators Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Sun Feb 28, 2016 Capitals Blackhawks
11:30 AM Tickets
March 2016
Wed Mar 2, 2016 Blackhawks Red Wings
7:00 PM TVA
Thu Mar 3, 2016 Blackhawks Bruins
6:00 PM TVA
Sun Mar 6, 2016 Red Wings Blackhawks
4:00 PM Tickets
Wed Mar 9, 2016 Blackhawks Blues
7:00 PM
Fri Mar 11, 2016 Blackhawks Stars
7:30 PM
Mon Mar 14, 2016 Kings Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Wed Mar 16, 2016 Flyers Blackhawks
7:00 PM TVA Tickets
Fri Mar 18, 2016 Blackhawks Jets
7:00 PM
Sun Mar 20, 2016 Wild Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Tue Mar 22, 2016 Stars Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Sat Mar 26, 2016 Blackhawks Flames
9:00 PM HNIC
Sun Mar 27, 2016 Blackhawks Canucks
7:00 PM SN
Tue Mar 29, 2016 Blackhawks Wild
7:00 PM
April 2016
Fri Apr 1, 2016 Blackhawks Jets
7:00 PM
Sun Apr 3, 2016 Bruins Blackhawks
11:30 AM TVA Tickets
Tue Apr 5, 2016 Coyotes Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Thu Apr 7, 2016 Blues Blackhawks
7:30 PM Tickets
Sat Apr 9, 2016 Blackhawks Blue Jackets
6:00 PM

Toews,Kane and Crawford get Post Season honors.

LAS VEGAS—Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is the recipient of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone, which is awarded to a player “in recognition of his commitment and service to charities in his community.” The award recognizes an individual as a superior leader in hockey and as a contributing member of society. It honors an individual who leads by positive example through on-ice performance, motivation of team members and dedication to community activities and charitable causes.Messier solicits suggestions from club and League personnel and NHL fans in compiling a list of potential candidates. Selection of the three finalists and the ultimate winner is Messier’s alone. Other finalists for this year’s honor were Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and former Hawk Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets.The Hawks captain since he was just 20-years-old, Toews led the club with 28-38—66 in the regular season to guide the Blackhawks to their seventh consecutive playoff berth. He also built upon his work in the community, where he actively participates in various team endeavors, including Make-A-Wish visits and the Four Feathers Golf Invitational. Independently, Toews served as the honorary chairperson for the Israel Idonije Fundraiser, which helps underserved communities by providing programs focused on social and emotional life skills; supported The Winnipeg Foundation in creating its Nourishing Potential campaign; and continued his role with Misericordia, a Chicago group that offers care for those with mild to profound developmental disabilities. The NHL and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today during the 2015 NHL Awards™ that three-time Stanley Cup® Champions Toews and Patrick Kane will both appear on the cover of EA SPORTS™ NHL® 16. This marks the first time in franchise history that the cover has featured two teammates as well as the Stanley Cup trophy. Kane and Toews are also the only athletes in EA SPORTS™ NHL history to appear on the cover twice. The duo spotlight embodies the spirit of NHL 16, where you’ll play together and win together. “I’m honored to not only share the Stanley Cup Championship with Patrick, but to share the EA SPORTS NHL 16 cover with him too,” said Toews. “Our team’s passion and dedication have made this all possible – and I’m sure fans will be fired up about it.” “Being teamed up with Jonathan for the NHL 16 cover is a great feeling,” said Kane. “I never would have imagined being on the cover twice, and the fact this is happening on top of our team taking home the Cup is unreal.” “Congratulations to both players; they are a perfect fit for this honor,” said Dave McCarthy, NHL Vice President of Consumer Products Marketing. “What the Chicago Blackhawks have been able to accomplish in the last six years has been nothing short of remarkable and I’m excited that this year’s NHL 16 cover will reflect the spirit of teamwork.” “We would like to congratulate Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on this well-deserved honour of being chosen as the duo cover athletes,” said Adam Larry, NHLPA Director of Licensing and Associate Counsel. “Hockey fans show great passion and interest in the EA SPORTS video game franchise each year, and they will be pleased to see these two outstanding teammates grace the cover of NHL 16.” Built with more fan feedback and insights than ever before, NHL 16 delivers your most requested features and modes along with new experiences that make NHL 16 bigger and better. With new levels of depth across single player and team modes, combined with improved gameplay balance and innovation as well as new tools to help you play at your highest level, NHL 16 lets you play together and win together.NHL 16 hits store shelves on September 15, 2015 in North America and September 17, 2015 in Europe for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and PlayStation®4. EA SPORTS™ NHL® Legacy Edition brings together the most popular modes and award-winning gameplay features from nine years of NHL hockey and will be available for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system, and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. Become a fan of EA SPORTS NHL® on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Corey Crawford and Montreal’s Carey Price shared the William Jennings Trophy given to the Goalie(s)who yields the fewest goal during the regular season.

Hawks finish off Lightning 2-0, win sixth Stanley Cup, first on Home Ice since 1938

 

 

 

 

Mark Grote's photo.
Les Grobstein's photo.
Les Grobstein's photo.
Les Grobstein's photo.
Les Grobstein's photo.
Les Grobstein's photo.
Showing off their grit and determination, the Blackhawks finally put away the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final.The city of broad shoulders, strong enough to carry the silver trophy once again. A Windy City party 77 years in the making.Duncan Keith scored in the second period and directed a dominant defense that shut down Tampa Bay’s high-scoring attack, and the Blackhawks beat the Lightning 2-0 in Game 6 on Monday night for their third NHL title in the past six seasons.Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, helping the Blackhawks clinch the Cup on home ice for the first time since 1938. Corey Crawford, who was pulled from the Hawks first-round series against Nashville, had 25 saves in his fifth career playoff shutout.It was an appropriate conclusion to a series full of near misses and close calls that had fans in Chicago and Tampa Bay on the edge of their seats for almost two weeks. It was only the second final to begin with five one-goal games, and no team enjoyed a two-goal advantage until an open Kane buried a perfect pass from Brad Richards at 14:46 of the third.It was Kane’s first goal of the final, and it touched off a wild celebration by the frenzied crowd of 22,424, who broke out more chants of ”We want the Cup! We want the Cup!”  Ben Bishop kept the Lightning in the game with 30 saves, fighting through some sort of groin injury that kept him out of Game 4. Led by Bishop and big defenseman Victor Hedman, the Lightning allowed just 13 goals in the series, but it wasn’t enough against the unflappable Blackhawks.Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos finished the playoffs with an eight-game scoring drought that likely will chase him into the offseason. He rung the inside of the crossbar on a near miss at 7:50 of the first and was stoned by Crawford on a prime chance 58 seconds into the middle period.The pair of missed opportunities for one of the NHL’s most gifted scorers looked even more costly when the Blackhawks got on the board in the second.Keith got a nice pass from Kane in the middle and shot it around Tampa Bay center Cedric Paquette. Bishop stopped his first try, but Keith kept skating past Paquette and flipped in the rebound at 17:13..Keith then skated with his arms out and yelled before he was mobbed by his teammates near the boards. The two-time Norris Trophy winner for best defenseman finished with 21 points while playing over 700 minutes in a grueling postseason.

Sharp and Vermette goals and strong Crawford play give Hawks 2-1 win and 3-2 series lead over Lightning in Stanley Cup Finals

 

Les Grobstein's photo.
Les Grobstein's photo.

HAWKS WIN!!! What a heart stopper. Chance to win the Cup Monday at HOME!!!

Les Grobstein's photo.

TAMPA—With another tenacious road victory in this agonizingly close Stanley Cup Final, the Blackhawks earned an opportunity to raise that silver trophy on their home ice.Antoine Vermette scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and the Blackhawks moved to the brink of their third NHL championship in six years with a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 on Saturday night.Corey Crawford made 31 saves and Patrick Sharp scored an early goal into an accidentally unguarded net for the Blackhawks, who took a 3-2 series lead by surviving another tense game in this incredibly even series. The first five games all have been decided by one goal for just the second time in Stanley Cup Final history, and the first time since 1951.Ben Bishop stopped 27 shots after missing Game 4 with an undisclosed injury, but the goalie’s ill-advised venture outside the crease led to Sharp’s goal.Valtteri Filppula scored for the Lightning, who have scored just two goals while losing two straight games for only the second time in their 25-game postseason. Tampa Bay also lost second-leading scorer Nikita Kucherov to a first-period injury when he crashed into the Hawk net.Game 6 is Monday night in the United Center, and seven remaining members of the Blackhawks’ two-time champion core will have the chance to skate the Stanley Cup around the UC for the first time after winning the other two Cups on the road. The Lightning must win two straight to claim the second Stanley Cup title in franchise history.Game 5 was another chapter in what’s shaping up as the tightest Final ever played. Neither team has even held a two-goal lead through five games, staying tied or one goal apart for all 300 minutes.The clubs started the third period in a tie for the third straight game, but Vermette cashed in on a loose puck in the slot just two minutes in.Bishop kicked the puck straight onto Vermette’s tape after stopping a rush by Kris Versteeg. Vermette, the veteran forward acquired from Arizona near the trade deadline, also scored the third-period tiebreaker at Amelie Arena in the series opener 10 days ago.While the Lightning didn’t know their goalie’s identity until earlier in the day, Crawford delivered another outstanding night in the Hawks crease right when he was most needed. He capped the performance with 16 saves in the third period, performing flawlessly down the stretch just as he did in the previous game.Bishop decided to play after participating in the morning skate, and the 53-game winner appeared to be moving more fluidly than he did in Game 3. He still gave a goal to the Blackhawks in the first period with an ill-advised venture out of his crease.Bishop roamed almost halfway to the blue line to play a puck and collided with star defenseman Victor Hedman. Sharp ended his 13-game goal drought by skating around the pair and chipping in the open-net gift in front of Tampa Bay’s stunned fans.The Blackhawks had several other golden scoring chances before Filppula’s goal, including Teuvo Teravainen missing the net on a clean breakaway. The Lightning evened it when Jason Garrison made a wicked cross-ice pass through the Hawk’s defense to the Finnish veteran, who ended his six-game goal drought.The final Saturday night game of the NHL season got off to an ugly start for the Lightning when Kucherov then nearly scored on the play on which he was injured.Crawford inexplicably passed the puck right at Kucherov, but the Russian forward charged at it and lost his feet when Crawford dived back to his crease. Kucherov hit the post hard with his shoulder or head, skating off hunched over and going straight to Tampa Bay’s dressing room.Rookie Jonathan Drouin took Kucherov’s spot on Tampa Bay’s vaunted ”Triplets” line with playoff scoring leader Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat.

NOTES—Drouin returned to Tampa Bay’s lineup after the 20-year-old forward sat out three of the series’ first four games. D Nikita Nesterov was scratched. … Replays appeared to show Crawford playing the puck outside the trapezoid behind his net moments before Sharp’s first-period goal. … Dick Vitale, former Buccaneers and Joliet native FB Mike Alstott and Rays OF Kevin Kiermaier attended the game.

Saad’s third period goal, even’s Stanley Cup Finals 2-2

 

Brandon Saad and the Blackhawks finally broke through Tampa Bay’s rookie goalie and then barely hung on to even up the Stanley Cup Final.Saad scored the tiebreaking goal with 13:38 to play, captain Jonathan Toews scored in the second period and the Blackhawks beat the Lightning 2-1 in Game 4 on Wednesday night, knotting the Final at two games apiece.Corey Crawford made 24 saves and survived a frantic final minute for the Blackhawks, who rebounded from consecutive defeats in a gritty, defense-dominated game.Saad scored the eventual winner by chipping a backhand under Andrei Vasilevskiy, the 20-year-old Russian goalie forced into his first NHL playoff start. He made 17 saves while replacing 53-game winner Ben Bishop, who was scratched with an undisclosed lower-body injury after hobbling through Game 3.Game 5 is Saturday night in Tampa.Alex Killorn scored in the second period for the Lightning, whose four-game road winning streak ended.Vasilevskiy played well enough under extraordinary pressure, but couldn’t quite match Crawford, the 2013 Stanley Cup winner who regularly follows up poor stretches with big games for the Blackhawks.Tampa Bay pummeled Crawford with multiple scoring chances in the final minute with Vasilevskiy pulled for an extra attacker, but the veteran stopped them all – including a point-blank shot by Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, who has no goals in the series.The series is now a best-of-three, with the Hawks needing at least one more win at Amalie Arena to secure their third championship in six seasons. Tampa Bay has home-ice advantage, but a fraction of the Blackhawks’ big-game credentials.Despite their differences in experience and age, these teams are incredibly close: This is the first Final since 1968 in which all four games were decided by one goal.After a tense and scoreless first period, Toews broke open a tense game and erased a slow Blackhawks start with his first goal since Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. Killorn evened it five minutes later off an exceptional behind-the-net pass from Valtteri Filppula.Saad scored early in the third period with the same determination that has characterized the tough forward’s entire career. He got the puck in the corner off a faceoff and failed to score while skating in front, but controlled the loose puck and whacked a backhand that skittered under Vasilevskiy for his eighth goal of the postseason and second in two games.Vasilevskiy became the fourth-youngest goalie to start a Stanley Cup Final game in NHL history and the youngest since 20-year-old Patrick Roy in 1986. Bishop got hurt during Game 2 and left it twice in the waning minutes, but the veteran played Game 3 and participated in Wednesday’s morning skate before the Lightning ruled him out.The Blackhawks didn’t manage a shot on Vasilevskiy’s net until 8:17 into the first period, and then didn’t get another for about six minutes in a tentative first period. The Blackhawks’ two shots in the first period were a franchise low for a Final game, while Tampa Bay didn’t cash in its handful of additional chances.The Blackhawks finally warmed up in the second. After putting two shots off Vasilevskiy’s posts, the Hawks finally scored when Vasilevskiy gave up a rebound of Marian Hossa’s shot and Toews slapped a loose puck under the goalie, who deflected it in.The Lightning had scored the opening goal in their previous four playoff games, but they answered when Filppula threaded a backward pass through two defenders and in front to Killorn. Looking at Filppula behind his net, Crawford never saw the Harvard product until it was too late to stop his ninth goal of the postseason.Vasilevskiy joined the Lightning in December and played in just 16 games during the regular season – none since March 31 – before mopping up in two earlier playoff games. Yet the likable Siberian has been touted as one of the greatest Russian goaltending prospects of recent years, earning comparisons to Vladislav Tretiak and winning a gold medal while backing up his idol, Sergei Bobrovsky, at last summer’s world championships.
NOTES—Stamkos ended his five-game scoring drought with an assist on Killorn’s goal…..Patrick Kane also got his first point of the series with an assist on Saad’s goal. … Vasilevskiy’s backup was Kristers Gudlevskis, the 22-year-old Latvian Olympian who spent this season in the AHL. He has just three games of NHL experience, none this season. …Johnny Oduya played for the Hawks after apparently injuring his left arm in Game 3, while fellow D Kimmo Timonen returned to Hawk’s lineup after sitting out the first three Final games. … New Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg attended the game in a red Blackhawks hoodie.

Late goal carries Lightning past Hawks 3-2

 

Victor Hedman had two assists for Tampa Bay while playing stout defense on the Blackhawks top forwards and the Lightning beat the Hawks 3-2 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.Ryan Callahan, Ondrej Palat and Cedric Paquette scored as Tampa Bay used its second straight win to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Ben Bishop made 36 saves in a gutsy performance after he was questionable coming into the game. Game 4 is Wednesday night.Brad Richards and Brandon Saad scored for the Hawks, and Corey Crawford finished with 29 stops.The third consecutive one-goal game in the final was tied at 1 after two periods, and then tied again after the teams exchanged goals in a 13-second burst in the third. But Hedman helped the Lightning take the lead for good when he skated into the corner and made a perfect pass to Paquette in the middle for his third goal of the playoffs with 3:11 remaining, silencing the United Center crowd.Bishop and company held up down the stretch as the Lightning improved to 8-3 on the road in the playoffs.Tampa Bay wasted a chance to go in front in the second after Saad was whistled for goaltender’s interference, creating a 5-on-3 opportunity. Bishop, who was a game-time decision with some sort of issue left over from Game 2, was shaken up on the collision, but stayed in the net. Crawford then made a couple of big saves to help the Blackhawks kill off the power-play time, leading to roars of approval from the crowd of 22,336.Marian Hossa made a slick pass to set up Saad’s seventh goal at 4:14 of the third, giving the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead. But the Lightning came right down and scored when Palat stuffed in a rebound for his eighth of the playoffs.After nearly two days’ worth of speculation, Bishop led the Lightning out of the tunnel for warmups and got the start in goal. He participated in the morning skate, but there was no definitive word on his status until he was announced as the starter right before the game.The 6-foot-7 Bishop left two different times during the third period of Tampa Bay’s 4-3 victory in Game 2 on Saturday night. The team has not provided a reason for his twin departures, but he appeared to be dealing with some sort of groin or leg injury as he struggled to get up and down for much of the night.The Lightning got the first goal for the fourth straight time when Hedman made a terrific stretch pass to an open Callahan for a big drive over Crawford’s left shoulder at 5:09 of the first. Hedman has four assists in the series while hounding the Hawks talented group of scorers, establishing himself as an elite defenseman on the NHL’s biggest stage.The Blackhawks dominated the rest of the period. Hossa wasted a prime opportunity when his shot on an open net was wide left as he tumbled to the ice. Teuvo Teravainen also shot it wide on a good look while Bishop struggled to move around the goal.Tampa Bay defenseman Braydon Coburn was sent off for hooking with 7:18 left, and the Blackhawks capitalized on their first power-play opportunity. With Andrew Shaw lurking in front of the goal, Richards’ big slap shot went off the top of Bishop’s glove and into the net for his third goal of the playoffs.

NOTES—Johnny Oduya missed the last part of the second, but returned for the start of the third. …Bryan Bickell and rookie D Trevor van Riemsdyk each made their first appearance of the series. Bickell had been sidelined by vertigo, while van Riemdsyk was coming back from surgeries on his left knee and right wrist. It was the first NHL game for van Riemsdyk since Nov. 16…..Kris Versteeg and David Rundblad were inactive. … Nikita Nesterov returned to Tampa Bay’s lineup, giving the Lightning seven active defensemen. Rookie winger Jonathan Drouin was scratched. … It was Richards’ first goal in the Stanley Cup Final since he scored for Tampa Bay in Game 6 of the 2004 series against Calgary. … NASCAR driver Danica Patrick was in attendance and so was Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan. Both grew up in Illinois.

Hawks give up sloppy goals, fall to Lightning. Series tied 1-1, now to United Center

 

TAMPA—Two goalies taking turns in the crease in the third period. A low-scoring defenseman getting the biggest goal of all.The Tampa Bay Lightning found some strange ways to even the Stanley Cup Final.Jason Garrison scored the tiebreaking power-play goal with 11:11 to play, rookie goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy relieved Ben Bishop twice to earn the victory, and the Lightning beat the Blackhawks 4-3 in Game 2 on Saturday night to even the series.Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who played with all the aggression they lacked in the third period of Game 1 when the Hawks rallied late to win.Tyler Johnson and Cedric Paquette also scored for Tampa Bay, which curiously made three goalie changes in the third period. The 20-year-old Vasilevskiy twice replaced starter Ben Bishop and made five saves in 9:13 to earn his first NHL playoff win.Game 3 is Monday night in the United Center.Vasilevskiy has 16 regular-season games of NHL experience, and he had played in just two games since March 31. But the Russian came in for 92 seconds before Garrison scored the go-ahead goal, and he returned to finish the game with 7:41 to play, earning the victory.The Lightning didn’t say why Bishop left the game, came back and left again. He complained of interference on Brent Seabrook‘s tying goal early in the third period, but played on.Andrew Shaw and Teuvo Teravainen scored 2:16 apart early in the second period for the Blackhawks, who couldn’t follow up their Game 1 comeback with another.Just over five minutes after Seabrook scored, Garrison put the Lightning ahead when his shot apparently deflected off a Hawk player in front of Corey Crawford, who stopped 20 shots in an uninspiring effort. The goal was just Garrison’s second of the postseason.With his jarring No. 88 jersey and 45 previous minutes of NHL playoff experience, Vasilevskiy handled his surprise assignment splendidly. He made an outstanding pad save with less than five minutes to play as Tampa Bay killed a penalty, and he stayed strong wrapped up the victory. The Lightning again showed off the resilience that got them to this lofty height, improving to 4-0 in Game 2 of their four postseason series after going 1-3 in Game 1. Tampa Bay has lost two straight games only once in the entire playoffs.The Stanley Cup Final’s first two games were split for just the second time since 2004.The Lightning blamed their 2-1 loss in the opener on too much caution in the third period, when the Hawks scored two late goals to win. Neither team showed any particular caution from the start of Game 2, skating aggressively and working hard for offensive chances.Paquette put a long shot through heavy traffic late in the first period for his first goal since April 27, ending a 13-game drought.Shaw made his biggest impact on Game 1 when he apparently bit Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, but the aggressive forward affected Game 2 early in the second by getting in front of Bishop and outfighting Garrison for a loose puck.During a power play moments later, Teravainen executed a give-and-go with Marian Hossa for his third goal in two games. The 20-year-old Teravainen scored the tying goal and assisted on Antoine Vermette‘s winner 1:58 apart in Game 1 victory.The Lightning swiftly tied it up on a back-to-the-net, between-his-own-legs deflection by Kucherov, the gifted Russian who scored 29 goals in the regular season.Johnson then ended his five-game goal drought with his NHL-leading 13th goal of the postseason. Crawford probably should have saved the backhand by Johnson, but it slid across his sweater and dropped in for Johnson’s first goal since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.Seabrook evened it with 16:22 left in the third, teeing up a hard shot with no opposition after the Tampa Bay defense got distracted by captain Jonathan Toews. Bishop claimed Hossa interfered with him on top of his crease, but the goal stood. NOTES—Jonathan Drouin, the No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft, returned to Tampa Bay’s lineup for the first time since Game 4 of the second-round series against Montreal on May 7. Nikita Nesterov was scratched. … Bryan Bickell sat out his second straight game after getting hurt in Game 7 of the conference finals in Anaheim last weekend. The Blackhawks haven’t disclosed the nature of Bickell’s injury, but the forward said he passed the league’s concussion tests. ….Joel Quenneville coached his 200th playoff game. …Niklas Hjalmarsson turned 28 years old.

Teravainen,Vermette score late goals 1:58 apart, Hawks take opener 2-1

 

TAMPA—After 53 minutes of scoreless frustration, the Blackhawks needed less than two minutes more to roar back on top in the Stanley Cup Final opener.Teuvo Teravainen and Antoine Vermette scored 1:58 apart late in the third period, and the Blackhawks rallied to stun the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 on Wednesday night.Corey Crawford made 22 saves for the Blackhawks, who opened the final series in their quest for their third NHL title in six seasons with more of the clutch offensive play on which they’ve built a championship team.

”You just learn not to panic and keep working hard,” Crawford said. ”Stick to your game plan, and we’ll get our chances.”

Nothing worked for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane – but with their two stars off the ice and the clock dwindling, the Blackhawks’ role players delivered to crush the Amalie Arena crowd celebrating Tampa Bay’s first trip to the Final since winning the 2004 title. Teravainen scored through traffic with 6:32 to play, and Vermette got the winner in the slot with 4:34 left.Game 2 is Saturday night in Tampa.Ben Bishop stopped 19 shots and Alex Killorn scored in the opening minutes for Tampa Bay, which appeared to be closing in on a gritty shutout victory. Until Teravainen’s goal through a two-man screen, the youthful Lightning gave a stellar defensive effort against the Blackhawks high-powered offense in front of a frenzied home crowd.The 6-foot-7 Bishop was a few minutes away from his third shutout in four games, including a tenacious 2-0 victory over the New York Rangers to win the Eastern Conference title last Friday night.But steady work in Tampa Bay’s zone finally was rewarded in dramatic fashion.Shortly after Crawford stopped Ryan Callahan on a breakaway, Marcus Kruger and Valtteri Filppula provided screens in front of Bishop, who never saw Teravainen’s shot for his third goal of the postseason.Moments later, Vermette collected a bouncing puck in the slot and beat Bishop for his third goal, providing a big return on the Blackhawks’ decision to acquire him at the trade deadline.The winner of Game 1 has won the Cup in 58 of the last 75 Finals since 1939, including the last three.The Hawks roared into its third Final in six years and 13th overall after outlasting Anaheim in a memorable seven-game conference final. A roster loaded with championship-winning players and veteran talent made the Blackhawks most observers’ favorite in the series despite questions about a defense relying heavily on just four players, including tireless star Duncan Keith.Tampa Bay needed 20 games to win its second Eastern Conference championship, but emerged from a Game 7 victory over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden with a wealth of confidence in its youthful, gifted lineup.After a stirring pregame celebration of the Lightning’s return to the Final 11 year after winning their only title, they opened the Final with a noticeable jump on the Blackhawks – and Killorn needed just 4:31 to get the Lightning on top.With his back to the net, the Harvard product made an exceptional backhand redirect of Anton Stralman’s shot, swatting down at a wobbling puck and knocking it past Crawford’s pad for his eighth goal of the postseason. Captain Steven Stamkos said Tuesday that the playoffs have been Killorn’s ”coming-out party” as an elite forward.The Blackhawks increased their intensity later in the period when Kane moved back onto a line with Toews, reuniting the Hawks two best scorers. Yet Tampa Bay kept up its strong positional game in the second period, and the Blackhawks’ offensive frustration grew, with Toews growing visibly agitated with their inability to give trouble to Bishop.

NOTES—Tampa Bay lost for the first time in the postseason after scoring the game’s first goal, dropping to 9-1. … The Hawks scratched F Bryan Bickell with an undisclosed injury and dressed Kris Versteeg, who was in Toronto on Monday for the birth of his first child, son Jaxson. Kruger played despite missing time last Saturday in Anaheim with an undisclosed injury. … Killorn is the first Harvard graduate to score in the Stanley Cup Final. … Tampa Bay was the NHL’s best home team during the regular season, and the Hawks were the best on the road. The Lightning led the league in goals, and the Blackhawks shared the Jennings Trophy for fewest goals allowed. … Brad Richards mostly got a warm reception in his return to Tampa, where he won the 2004 Conn Smythe Trophy during the Lightning’s title run. Richards was traded in 2008.

Hoiberg to be named new Bulls Coach-five year contract.

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above headFred Hoiberg is going pro.  (USATSI)

The Bulls will formally introduce Fred Hoiberg as their new head coach on Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. CT, confirming the worst-kept secret in recent NBA history. Hoiberg is leaving Iowa State University in order to take his first head-coaching job in the pros. He will replace Tom Thibodeau, who was fired last week.Hoiberg and the Bulls have agreed to a five-year, nearly $25 million contract.The Cyclones ran a pro-style offense while he was at the helm, placing an emphasis on taking 3-pointers and shots at the rim, avoiding long 2-point jumpers.Hoiberg is not new to the NBA, as he spent 10 years in the league as a player, four of them with the Bulls. After his career on the court was over, he spent four years in the Minnesota Timberwolves front office. He has been linked to numerous NBA jobs, most recently reportedly interviewing with the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans. This was only a matter of time.Back when Hoiberg was a senior at Iowa State, Bulls general manager Gar Forman was a Cyclones assistant coach. There have been rumors and reports for months that he’d be the Forman’s choice if/when the team split with Thibodeau. Like Billy Donovan with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Hoiberg is joining an organization where he has a pre-existing relationship with management as well a talented roster at his disposal. This is a much better situation than what most college coaches have had when making this leap.

 

Hawks wipe out Ducks, win Western Conf Crown, face Tampa Bay in Stanley Cup Finals

 

 

ANAHEIM—Jonathan Toews scored two goals in the opening minutes, Corey Crawford made 35 saves and the Blackhawks roared into the Stanley Cup finals with a 5-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals Saturday night.Brandon Saad, Marian Hossa and Brent Seabrook also scored for the Blackhawks, who will play for their third NHL championship in six seasons when they face the Tampa Bay Lightning beginning Wednesday night in Florida.After six games of tense hockey in an extraordinary series, Game 7 was an incongruous rout. Toews was responsible for it, burnishing his reputation for big-game brilliance with a rebound goal just 2:23 in and another power-play score before 12 minutes elapsed.Anaheim lost a Game 7 at home for the third straight season.Game one in Tampa is Wednesday night.