Ben Bishop or Andrei Vasilevskiy? Hawks just want to score on anybody

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Blackhawks rookie Teuvo Teravainen is more familiar with Tampa Bay Lightning back-up goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy than most of his teammates.

“I’ve played against Vasilevskiy twice with the [Finnish] international team, so I know him a little bit,” said the 20-year-old Teravainen, who was selected one pick ahead of the 20-year-old Vasilevskiy in the 2012 NHL draft. “I think I’ve scored on him before, too. We’ll see who is in there. I don’t really care.”

That pretty much summed up the Hawks’ perspective on the Lightning’s unsettled goaltender situation. Starter Ben Bishop left Game 3 twice for undisclosed reasons and was replaced by Vasilevskiy, who ended up stopping all five shots he faced in 9:13 of third-period ice time.

The Hawks know how unpredictable goaltender situations can be in the playoffs. Scott Darling made his NHL debut in relief of a struggling Corey Crawford in Game 1 of the opening-round series against Nashville and stopped 42-of-42 shots as the Hawks rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 in double overtime. Darling won Games 3 and 4 before he was replaced by Crawford after allowing three goals in Game 6.

So Vasilevskiy replacing Bishop could be the best thing or the worst thing for the Hawks. It’s not worth it to overthink it.

“We can’t be concerned about their goalie,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “It’s what we have to do to make it tough on their goalies [no matter who is playing] is what we talk about — getting to the net and being as disruptive as we can. We need more traffic. We need more shots. Whoever is in net, let’s get to them.”

Vasilevskiy was 7-5 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in 16 regular-season games for the Lightning. He replaced a struggling Bishop twice in the playoffs — Game 4 of the second round against the Canadiens (allowing three goals on 26 shots) and Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final against the Rangers (allowing one goal on seven shots). Including Game 2 against the Hawks, Vasilevskiy has a 4.43 goals-against average and .895 save-percentage in the playoffs.

“I think you approach any goalie the same way,” defenseman Brent Seabrook said. “He played great for them the last five or six minutes of [Game 2]. You want to continue to try to get pucks and bodies at the net, make it tough for him to see.

“I’m sure if [Vasilevskiy plays], the coaches will look into i more than what we know about him. But it’s … the same lines as playing either goalie. They’re both big, both great goaltenders. We’ve just got to try to find ways to put the puck in the net.”

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