Blackhawks hold off Lightning 2-1 for 3-2 series lead


The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after taking an early lead in Game 5. Photo by Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune.

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Antoine Vermette converted a rebound two minutes into the third period to secure the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-1 win and a 3-2 series lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night.

Patrick Sharp also scored for the Blackhawks, who are one win from their sixth championship in franchise history, and third in six years. Corey Crawford stopped 31 shots, including all 15 he faced in the third period.

Game 6 is at Chicago on Monday.

Valtteri Filppula scored for the Lightning, who have lost consecutive games following a 2-1 loss at Chicago on Wednesday.

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop stopped 27 shots, and showed few signs of an undisclosed injury that forced him to miss Game 4.

Kris Versteeg set up the decisive goal by driving up the right wing. Though he couldn't get a shot off, Versteeg slipped a pass into the crease, where Bishop kicked the puck into the slot. It went directly to Vermette, who snapped it in.


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