Once again, it's another one-goal decision in what has been an incredibly tight series. This time, the Lightning find themselves on the wrong end and face possible elimination when they face the Blackhawks again in Chicago for Game 6.
The Blackhawks scored first at 6:11 of the first on goal that is a contender for the worst one given up by the Lightning all season long. Ben Bishop, getting the start after sitting out Game 4, came way out of his net to play the puck and collided with Victor Hedman, leaving the puck all alone for Patrick Sharp to pick up and score on an uncontested slam dunk. Teuvo Teravainen and Jonathan Toews were credited with assists on the play.
The Lightning were dealt a blow when Nikita Kucherov suffered an injury after slamming into the Chicago goal post. He left the game having logged only 1:17 of ice time.
The 1-0 Chicago lead held into the first intermission.
The Lightning tied the game at 10:53 on a goal from Valtteri Filppula with help from Jason Garrison and Anton Stralman.
At the end of two, the teams were tied at one and there was a sense that the next goal would be the decider.
That goal came early in the third, from Chicago's Antoine Vermette scoring at the two minute mark. He was assisted by Kris Versteeg on the play.
There was plenty of time but the Lightning were unable to solve Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.
The Lightning will now have to win Game 6 in Chicago on Monday to stay alive and bring a Game 7 back to Amalie Arena.
- All five games of the series have been decided by a single goal.
- Including regular season meetings, ten of the last 12 games between Chicago and Tampa Bay have been decided by one goal.
- The Lightning are now 1-3 in Game 5's during this postseason.
- The Lightning honored Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn as the 54th Lightning Community Hero of the season during the first period of tonight's Stanley Cup Final Game 5 contest against the Chicago Blackhawks. Buckhorn, who received a $100,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to friends of Tampa Parks & Recreation for expanding summer initiatives and for community policing within inner city neighborhoods. Buckhorn is a longtime advocate and supporter of the Tampa Bay community. He was an aide to former Mayor Freedman and in 1995 he was elected Tampa City Council. After working several years in public affairs, Buckhorn ran for public office and was sworn in as the 58th mayor of the City of Tampa on April 1, 2011. Buckhorn, working with Hillsborough County and throughout the seven county Bay area, has helped create $2 Billion in new permitted projects. He has also been diligent in creating partnerships to ensure a safer Tampa Bay which has reduced crime in the community by over 20 percent. Buckhorn has helped facilitate the creation of new parks including a crown jewel for the city, the Tampa Riverwalk. As Mayor Buckhorn works tirelessly with and on behalf of the people of Tampa, he hopes to cultivate a true feeling of teamwork amongst the entire Tampa Bay community.