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FINAL: Chicago Blackhawks nip Lightning 2-1 to put Tampa Bay on brink of Stanley Cup Final loss

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay lost Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

Chicago moves within a game of seizing the Cup.

The best-of-seven series is 3-2, and Chicago can put the series away Monday night at home.

THIRD PERIOD0:00: The Blackhawks have beaten the Lightning 2-1 to take a three-games-to-two lead in the series.10:31 p.m.: Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop has made two really good saves to keep Chicago from going up 3-1: One on Andrew Desjardins and one one on Teuvo Teravainen.10: 20 p.m.: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos' first shot on goal in the game comes on a one-timer. It's caught by Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.10:15 p.m. GOAL: Antoine Vermette grabs a rebound and puts it in to give Chicago a 2-1 lead with 18 minutes left. Jonathan Drouin got into position to make a defensive play, but Vermette snuck in from behind.10:10 p.m.: Nikita Kucherov must be done for the night for Tampa Bay. He isn't on the bench for the start of the third period.

10:08 p.m.: Seriously, could this series be any closer? It has either been tied or plus/minus one goal for four games and two periods now. And the intensity has been what you generally see in the final three minutes of a tight game.

________________________________________SECOND PERIOD9:55: Lightning were much sharper in that period. Outshot the 'Hawks 12-7 in the period and played much more physical.

9:53: The period ends with the game tied 1-1. It's the third straight game in the series that has been tied after the second period. No team has led by more than one goal.9:41: Lightning's power play continues to struggle in the series. They get one, but again fail to score.

9:35 p.m.: Goal: Lightning tie it 1-1 on a Valttteri Filpppula's goal off a perfect pass from Jason Garrison with 9:07 left in the period.9:30 p.m. Midway through the second period, Nikita Kucherov still hasn't returned after hitting his shoulder off a goal post in the first period. It'll be a huge loss for Tampa Bay if he can't come back. By the way Kucherov is the only Lightning player to have played in every game.

9:16 p.m.: Lightning kill fhe power play.9:13 p.m. Lightning coach Jon Cooper looks worried as his team draws the first penalty of the game. A hooking call on Cedric Paquette gives Chicago a power play early in the second.

FIRST PERIOD9:05 p.m.: Period ends, Blackhawks lead 1-0. Lightning were outshot 14-5 and will need to pick up the pace.8:45 p.m.: Forward Nikita Kucherov's is return is uncertain. He left after slamming his shoulder against the goal post. Jonathan Drouin is playing his spot on the Triplets line.8:30 p.m.: GOAL: Patrick Sharp gets the Blackhawks on the board, scoring into an empty net after Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bshop came away from the net and collided with teammate Victor Hedman. It's 1-0 Chicago. Bishop was shaken up briefly, but stays in.8:15 p.m.: Puck drops after an amazing pre-game show of sound and light.

PRE-GAME NOTES:CHERISHING THE MOMENT: Tampa Bay has already been playing hockey for two months beyond the regular season, yet Coach Jon Cooper insists his young team is neither mentally fatigued, nor overly stressed.

"The Stanley Cup is up for grabs in the best two-out-of-three," Cooper said. "I don't think we should be afraid of that. I don't think we should walk around being tense and looking at the magnitude of where we are, being afraid of the moment. There are two teams left playing in June. If we're not having fun doing this, then we why are we doing it? It's been such a phenomenal experience to go through."

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