Crawford stands firm as Chicago level Stanley Cup Final

Blackhawks' goal-tender keeps his team in the Final as a close win levels the series 2-2 against Tampa Bay.

    Game Five takes place on Saturday [David Banks/Usa Today Sports]
    Game Five takes place on Saturday [David Banks/Usa Today Sports]

    Chicago net-minder Corey Crawford stood tall and Brandon Saad scored the winner as the Blackhawks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 to square the Stanley Cup Final at two games each.

    Crawford was strong early and even stronger in the game's closing minutes, stopping a flurry of shots including two point-blank rips from Steven Stamkos with an extra skater on the ice for Tampa Bay.

    Chicago were outshot 25-19 in the home game.

    Russian rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy was the surprise starter in the other net, filling in for Ben Bishop, who left Game Two early and was visibly impeded by injury in Game Three.

    "For whatever, reason we were stuck in the mud again but Crow came up with an unbelievable game and gave us a chance to win," Chicago center Brad Richards told reporters.

    Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who along with Patrick Kane has been uncharacteristically quiet during the series, opened the scoring when he tipped in a pass from Patrick Sharp.

    Tampa Bay's Alex Killorn tied it in same period before Saad made it 2-1 for Chicago in the third.

    The series now becomes a best-of-three contest as it shifts back to Tampa Bay for Game Five on Saturday.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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