TAMPA, Fla. —Corey Crawford was done in by a couple of bad breaks, but mostly rued the ones that got away Saturday night. He didn’t lose Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. But he didn’t win it, either.
“Just OK,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
The Tampa Bay Lightning parlayed two deflections into goals in a 4-3 victory at Amalie Arena that evened the series 1-1. Jason Garrison’s game-winner came on a power play and was inadvertently deflected by Andrew Desjardins with 11:11 left in the third period.
“It was frustrating,” said Crawford, who stopped 20-of-24 shots. “I’m competitive. I want to stop everything. I don’t like seeing things go in — especially a couple [that] I think I could have had. That’s frustrating, but you have to keep going. I can’t hang my head right now.”
Crawford lamented goals by Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson after the Hawks had taken a 2-1 lead on Teuvo Teravainen’s power-play goal at the 5:20 mark of the second period.
“It’s frustrating for sure,” he said. “I felt good. But it’s not good enough, especially when we get momentum. We score a goal on the power play and they come back with those two.
“We showed character again. We almost came back and tied it [at the end]. Tough bounce on their power-play goal. But we came back. We were close. Can’t let that happen.”
Johnson’s goal from a deep angle that gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead with 6:02 left in the second period is the one Crawford wanted back the most. Crawford tried to poke-check the puck form Johnson, but somehow it got past him.
“I was trying to be aggressive,” Crawford said, “and it looked like he kind of fanned on it and didn’t put it where he wanted and it and it just took a funny bounce. I’ve got to be able to read that and not give up a goal on the side.”
It was that kind of night for Crawford. He made some big stops, but wasn’t tested severely throughout. Ultimately, a tough deflection burned him when Garrison scored the game-winning goal. He said he had a bead on that one.
“Yeah, but it hit a stick, bounced off the ice and it was kind of diving, too,” Crawford said. “It was a weird one, too.”
In reality, the Hawks’ undoing in this one stemmed from back-to-back penalties on Patrick Sharp in the third period that short-circuited the Hawks’ momentum after Brent Seabrook scored for a 3-3 tie at 3:38 of the third period.
Just 81 seconds later, Sharp was called for slashing. The Hawks killed off that penalty. But Sharp was called for high-sticking 18 seconds later. Garrison scored with 28 seconds left on the second penalty.
Prior to the back-to-back infractions, Sharp had been called for two penalties in his last 36 games — both in the Western Conference final against the Ducks.
“Tough timing,” Quenneville said. “We just got the big goal [and] then we had to kill four minutes. Maybe [we were] a little tired on the kill the latter part of it. We did an outstanding job the first one; almost got through the second one.”