Game 1: Chicago @ Tampa Bay | June 3, 2015
Game 2: Chicago @ Tampa Bay | June 6, 2015
Game 3: Tampa Bay @ Chicago | June 8, 2015
Game 4: Tampa Bay @ Chicago | June 10, 2015
Game 5*: Chicago @ Tampa Bay | June 13, 2015
Game 6*: Tampa Bay @ Chicago | June 15, 2015
Game 7*: Chicago @ Tampa Bay | June 17, 2015
*- May not be necessary
Journey to the Finals:
Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning have dispatched the Detroit Red Wings (7 games), Montreal Canadiens (6 games), and the New York Rangers (7 games) while scoring 55 goals over the last 20 games (2.75 PPG) to enter into the final round of the playoffs with a record of 12-8.
Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks have sent the Nashville Predators (6 games), Minnesota Wild (4 games), and the Anaheim Ducks (7 games) packing, hitting the net a total of 55 times over the last 17 games (3.24 PPG) and leave the third round with an impressive 12-5 record.
1. Tyler Johnson
2. Patrick Kane
3. Nikita Kucherov
4. Jonathan Toews
5. Duncan Keith
How They Win:
Tampa Bay: For the Lightning to win the Stanley Cup, Steven Stamkos needs to score. The team captain didn't have a goal at all during the series against the Red Wings, and only has 7 in 20 games played. This team needs their top regular-season scorer to contribute in a big way if they're going to be bringing the Cup back to the Sunshine State.
Chicago: For the Blackhawks to win their third Cup in six seasons, Keith, Seabrook, and the rest of the supporting cast need to keep "The Triplets" (Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, and Ondrej Palat) in check. The line has been brilliant all playoffs and their production in this series will make or break the Hawks' chance at the Stanley Cup.
Players to Watch:
Tyler Johnson (F, TBL): This has been Johnson's season. Tying Stamkos for the Lightning's points lead and then lighting up opposing goaltenders in the spring have catapulted the undrafted centerman to almost a household name. Even though #9 is small, he sure knows how to get the puck in the net and will be trying to every shift this series.
Brad Richards (F, CHI): Closer to the end of his career than the start of it, Richards is gearing up to take on the team he won the Cup with last in this year's Cup final. While it should be an emotional series for the veteran, it's whether or not he can turn that emotion into points that will help his team the most.
Jason Garrison (D, TBL): Garrison, a former Vancouver Canuck and Florida Panther, has a massive cannon of a shot that can rip pucks right to the net. If he can step up and deliver some heavy slappers, he could give his team the advantage.
Tampa Bay in 6 games. While Chicago is coming in hot after a big win against Anaheim, Tampa Bay has the right depth and toughness to make it through a gritty series with a solid and proven playoff team. With players like Killorn and Callahan making up some of the supporting cast, the Lightning have plenty of talent to call upon should they need to.