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NHL: Russians Key in Cup Final Game 2
June 7, 2015 11:20


Photo Credit: Lisa Gansky from New York, NY, USA - IMG_7699. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Two Russian stars helped the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in Game 2 at Amalie Arena on Saturday to even the best-of-7 series at 1-1.
 
Andrei Vasilevskiy, who twice replaced Ben Bishop in the third period of Game 2, became the first goalie in 24 years to win a Final game in relief.
 
“He also became the first goalie to earn his first career playoff win in relief in the Final since Lester Patrick, then the coach of the New York Rangers, did so in 1928,” says NHL.com
 
"When I win? I just feel myself happy," the league’s website quoted the 20-year-old Russian as saying
 
He is reported to have made a huge save against Brad Richards on a penalty kill and finished with five saves.
 
Vasilevskiy, who went 7-5-1 in 16 regular-season appearances, insisted he was unfazed.
"Nervous? Just maybe a little bit, but after the first couple shots, I feel better," said Vasilevskiy, who said he had no warning he might be playing in Game 2. "Every game I'm ready and I keep my head ready for the game and that's it."
Cooper also didn't make a big deal out of the switch.
"I didn't say anything to him; he's a pretty confident kid," the coach said. "I think it helped that he's come in relief a couple times this playoffs. He's got a taste of it. This will just add to his confidence. He made some big saves. I don't think anyone really knows what's going on, but he played great and it was nice to finish off the game for him."
His teammates, many of whom admitted they did not know about the goalie change until it was announced on the public address system, said they have full faith in Vasilevskiy, the 19th player taken in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Nobody knows what will happen for Game 3 on Monday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports). If Bishop can't recover from whatever caused his departure - there is speculation he sustained a leg injury while making a third-period save against forward Brad Richards - Vasilevskiy will make his first start in the Final despite already owning a win in the championship round.
His teammates insist they will be as confident as if Bishop were between the pipes.
"We feel very safe with Vasilevskiy in the net, if that's going to be the case," Hedman said. "He's proven at every level that he's a winner, and he's one of the best goalie prospects in a lot of years. We've seen him battle throughout games this year. We'll see what happens, but we have two great goaltenders that can win games for us."

 
Nikita Kucherov scored a nice goal by redirecting a shot by defenseman Jason Garrison.
 

Enjoy the net cam view.




Author: Mikhail Vesely

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