Lightning prepare for Game 2 tonight against the Blackhawks

click to enlarge Lightning goalie Ben Bishop stopped 19 shots on goal during Game 1, including this one late in the third. - Nicole Abbett
Nicole Abbett
Lightning goalie Ben Bishop stopped 19 shots on goal during Game 1, including this one late in the third.

The Blackhawks outplayed the Bolts in the Game 1 home opener Wednesday night with a final score of 2-1. No need to fret; back in 2004, the Lightning also lost Game 1 in the Stanley Cup Finals, in which (of course) they eventually vanquished the Calgary Flames. Additionally, this is the third-for-four Game 1 the Bolts have lost in this year’s playoffs. That being said, the Game 1 loss, while discouraging, is in the team's rearview mirrors as they focus on tonight’s game. Coach Cooper has honed the team for moments like this.

For those who say Game 2 is a must win, Stamkos is divided: “There's no real must-win until you've lost three games in a series. We're confident in our ability to bounce back after a loss. I talked about it before. After tough games we responded well to not playing well and losing, and playing well and losing. We saw that in the Detroit series a little bit as well.”

This season, Tampa won more home games than any other team in the league. While postseason has been more back and forth, when the Lightning are under pressure they shift their playing strategies and are a victorious team. The best teams have made it to this point, and things will keep alternating to and fro.

Six of the past eight games between Chicago and Tampa Bay have been decided by one goal dating back to March 9, 2011 (CHI: 2-2-4, TBL: 6-1-1).

Game 1 also marked the sixth consecutive opening game of the Stanley Cup Final to be decided by one goal:

2015: CHI 2 at TBL 1
2014: NYR 2 at LAK 3 (OT) – LAK won series 4-1
2013: BOS 3 at CHI 4 (3OT) – CHI won series 4-2
2012: LAK 2 at NJD 1 (OT) – LAK won series 4-2
2011: BOS 0 at VAN 1 – BOS won series 4-3
2010: PHI 5 at CHI 6 – CHI won series 4-2

The Lightning are 1-3 in Game 1’s during this postseason. They are 3-0 in Game 2’s.

Game 2 will be played tonight at Amalie Arena at 7:15pm. The game will be aired on NBC, CBC, and TVA Sports. 

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