At the end of game one, the Chicago Blackhawks’ poise overtook the young Tampa Bay Lightning team.

Chicago Blackhawks Stun Tampa Bay Lightning

The Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup twice over the last five seasons and players like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith have played in at least 112 playoff games since 2009, which is by far the most in the NHL.

So needless to say, their experience cannot be undervalued, as it is what drove them through the playoffs with such a limited defense — they only played four defensemen through the Ducks series and only played six last night, with Kyle Cumiskey and David Rundblad playing less then eight minutes.

Still, the Lightning controlled 50 minutes of the game, out-playing, out-shooting and out-scoring the high octane Chicago Blackhawks. Though the shots on goal were only 23-21 Tampa, the Eastern Conference winners outshot their opponents for majority of the game — perhaps showing the Blackhawks’ fatigue from a difficult Western Conference Final.


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But in the last ten minutes, Chicago showed why they have won two championships over the last five seasons. Tampa, for some reason, went into a prevent defense and ultimately fell asleep as Ben Bishop allowed two late third period goals to give the Blackhawks the 2-1 win. Best of all for Chicago, the goal scorers were Teuvo Teravainen and Antoine Vermette displaying the team’s ridiculous depth.

However, Chicago’s defense and goaltender were good enough to secure the victory. After shocking the world with the aforementioned four-man rotation in the Anaheim series, they kept a high scoring offense — including the extremely hot Steven Stamkos — to one goal on 23 attempts. Again, attention needs to be paid to Corey Crawford because as much as the defense did with a limited rotation, Stamkos still got 5 shots on goal.

But again, everyone expected, over the last two series, that this defense would be disastrous. And while this series is still awfully young and far from over, the Blackhawks showed why year-to-year they are the most dangerous team — next to the Kings — in the West.

Game two is Saturday June 6 at 7:15 pm EST on NBC.

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