Blackhawks aim to shake off disappointment vs. Lightning


Buzzer-beaters in March typically are reserved for college basketball teams.

However, the Tampa Bay Lightning got in on the action by scoring with 0.1 seconds left in overtime on Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Tampa Bay will look to follow up on that victory Friday as it returns to the ice in Chicago for a second game in as many nights. (Blackhawks vs. Tampa Bay, Friday, March 5, 6:30pm, WGN Radio 720 and our digital streams

The Lightning have won six games in a row, with none else quite like Thursday’s thriller. As the final seconds of overtime ticked down, Victor Hedman released a wrist shot toward the net, and Alex Killorn tipped it in for his fourth goal of the season.

“I think everyone was yelling from the bench, ‘Shoot the puck,'” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. “He got the message loud and clear.”

Meanwhile, the message for Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton is for his team to shake off the narrow setback. Chicago led 2-0 at the end of the second period before giving up two goals in the third and one more in overtime. The result gave the Blackhawks at least a point in 12 of their past 15 games (10-3-2)

Colliton thought his group was close to turning the corner.

“I’m more focused on, how are we going to compete with the top teams?” he said. “How are we going to join that group? We were right there for most of the night. I loved how our team was playing. We’ve got to finish the job.

“There are a lot of positives. We’ll take those with us. We weren’t quite ready to do what it takes the whole night. If we want to get where we’re going, we’ve got to find it.”

Ryan Carpenter and Alex DeBrincat will look to stay hot for the Blackhawks after netting goals Thurdsay. It was the fourth of the season for Carpenter and the 12th for DeBrincat, moving him into the team lead ahead of Patrick Kane.

DeBrincat believes he and his teammates need to stay positive despite the bitter outcome.

“There were a lot of good things we did,” DeBrincat said. “We’ve got to figure out how to win those games. We can’t give up points like that. They’re a good team, give them credit, they battled back. But when you’re up 2-0 going into the third in your own building, you want to shut that down.”

Tampa Bay will look for continued production from Thursday scorers Killorn, Stamkos and Anthony Cirelli. Stamkos is the team leader with 11 goals on the season while Ondrej Palat is second with nine. Hedman and Stamkos each have 21 points.

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 35 of 37 shots to earn the victory in the series opener. Tampa Bay could turn back to Vasilevskiy (14-3-1, 1.66 goals-against average) for the second straight night, or it could give a start to backup Curtis McElhinney (2-1-0, 2.70).

For Chicago, Kevin Lankinen (9-3-4, 2.57) turned aside 31 of 34 shots in the first contest against Tampa Bay. Backup Malcolm Subban (3-2-1, 2.60) might get a turn in net Friday.

–Field Level Media

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