|2015 Stanley Cup Finals|
|Location(s)||Chicago: United Center (3, 4, 6)|
Tampa: Amalie Arena (1, 2, 5)
|Coaches||Chicago: Joel Quenneville|
Tampa Bay: Jon Cooper
|Captains||Chicago: Jonathan Toews|
Tampa Bay: Steven Stamkos
|National anthems||Chicago: Jim Cornelison|
Tampa Bay: Sonya Bryson
|Referees||Wes McCauley (1, 3, 5)|
Kevin Pollock (1, 3, 5)
Kelly Sutherland (2, 4, 6)
Dan O'Halloran (2, 4, 6)
|Dates||June 3 - 15|
|MVP||Duncan Keith (Blackhawks)|
|Series-winning goal||Duncan Keith (17:13, second, G6)|
|Networks||Canada (English): CBC|
Canada (French): TVA Sports
United States: NBC and NBCSN
|Announcers||(CBC) Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson, Glenn Healy|
(TVA) Félix Séguin, Patrick Lalime
(NBC/NBCSN) Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
(NHL International) Dave Strader, Kevin Weekes
The 2015 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 2014-15 season, and the culmination of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Western Conference champion Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning four games to two to win their sixth championship in franchise history, and their third title in six seasons.
The Lightning, as the club with the better regular-season record, held home-ice advantage in the series. The best-of-seven series was played in a 2-2-1-1-1 format, with Tampa Bay hosting games one, two, five, and seven (if necessary); and Chicago hosting games three, four and six. The series started June 3 and ended on June 15.
This was Tampa Bay's second Finals appearance after winning the Cup in 2004. Since their win in 2004, the Lightning had lost in the Conference Finals in 2011 in seven games to the Boston Bruins. The Lightning were eliminated in the first round in 2006, 2007, and 2014.
The Lightning entered the 2014-15 season with major re-signings during the offseason including centre Tyler Johnson, wingers Ryan Callahan and Ondrej Palat, and goalie Ben Bishop. In free agency, Tampa Bay picked up centre Brian Boyle and defenceman Anton Stralman from the New York Rangers and Brenden Morrow from the St. Louis Blues. The team made two trades to bolster the defence, picking up Jason Garrison at the 2014 draft and Braydon Coburn just before the 2015 trade deadline.
Tampa Bay compiled 108 points (50-24-8) during the regular season to finish in second place in the Atlantic Division. Centre and team captain Steven Stamkos finished second in goal-scoring during the regular season with 43 goals. Earlier in the season, Head Coach Jon Cooper nicknamed the team's second line of Johnson, Palat and winger Nikita Kucherov as the "Triplets" because they were so in sync; at the mid-season in January, the three players led the League in plus-minus.
In the playoffs, the Lightning eliminated the Detroit Red Wings in seven games, the Montreal Canadiens in six games, and the New York Rangers in the Conference Finals in seven games. They became the first post-1967 expansion team to beat three Original Six teams on the way to the Stanley Cup Finals and the only team in NHL history to face an Original Six team at every stage of the playoffs.
The Finals marked Chicago's third Final appearance in six seasons; having won the Cup in both 2010 and 2013. This was the team's 13th appearance overall, and they were seeking their sixth overall Cup championship.
The Blackhawks entered the 2014 offseason after being eliminated in the Conference Finals in seven games by the eventual 2014 Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. Major free agent acquisitions during the offseason included centre Brad Richards and winger Daniel Carcillo from the Rangers. Approaching the NHL trade deadline in early March, Chicago traded for defenceman Kimmo Timonen from the Philadelphia Flyers, centre Antoine Vermette from the Arizona Coyotes, and centre Andrew Desjardins from the San Jose Sharks.
Chicago finished in third place in the Central Division, earning 102 points (48-28-6). Goalie Corey Crawford tied the Canadiens' Carey Price as the William M. Jennings Trophy recipient for allowing a League-low 189 goals during the regular season.
In game one, Tampa Bay struck first with a deflected goal by Alex Killorn at 4:31 in the first period. The Lightning nursed the lead into the third period with a strong conservative defensive effort, but Teuvo Teravainen and Antoine Vermette scored 118 seconds apart to win the game 2-1 for the Blackhawks. By assisting on Vermette's goal, Teravainen became the second-youngest player (at 20 years and 265 days) in NHL history, after Jaromir Jagr had two assists in game one of the 1991 Finals (on May 15, 1991, at 19 years and 89 days), to have a multi-point game in the Stanley Cup final.
|1st||TB||Alex Killorn (8)||Anton Stralman (7) and Valtteri Filppula (9)||04:31||1-0 TB|
|3rd||CHI||Teuvo Teravainen (3)||Duncan Keith (17) and Andrew Shaw (6)||13:28||1-1|
|CHI||Antoine Vermette (3)||Teuvo Teravainen (5)||15:26||2-1 CHI|
|TB||Bench (served by Steven Stamkos)||Too many men on the ice||09:48||2:00|
|CHI||Kris Versteeg||Goaltender interference||13:28||2:00|
|Shots by period|
Jason Garrison's power play goal at 8:49 of the third period proved to be the difference in Tampa Bay's victory in game two. Lightning starting goaltender Ben Bishop had left the game moments earlier for undisclosed reasons and was replaced with Andrei Vasilevskiy. Because he was on the ice during Garrison's winning goal, Vasilevskiy was credited with his first playoff victory, and became the first goalie to win a Finals game in relief since Lester Patrick helped the New York Rangers defeat the Montreal Maroons in overtime of game two of the 1928 Stanley Cup Finals, 2-1.
|1st||TB||Cedric Paquette (2)||Ryan Callahan (4) and Victor Hedman (10)||12:56||1-0 TB|
|2nd||CHI||Andrew Shaw (5)||Marcus Kruger (2) and Andrew Desjardins (3)||03:04||1-1|
|CHI||Teuvo Teravainen (4) - pp||Marian Hossa (10) and Patrick Sharp (9)||05:20||2-1 CHI|
|TB||Nikita Kucherov (10)||Jason Garrison (4) and Braydon Coburn (3)||06:52||2-2|
|TB||Tyler Johnson (13)||Nikita Kucherov (11)||13:58||3-2 TB|
|3rd||CHI||Brent Seabrook (7)||Jonathan Toews (10) and Johnny Oduya (5)||03:38||3-3|
|TB||Jason Garrison (2) - pp||Victor Hedman (11) and Ryan Callahan (5)||08:49||4-3 TB|
|TB||Andrej Sustr||Delay of game (puck over glass)||13:08||2:00|
|Shots by period|
The series switched to Chicago for game three. There was some debate who would start for Tampa Bay, but regular starter Ben Bishop started the game for Tampa Bay. For the third time in a row, Tampa Bay struck first, on Ryan Callahan's slapshot goal at 5:09 of the first. Brad Richards tied it up on a power-play goal and the teams were tied after the first period. The first period was dominated by Chicago, who outshot Tampa Bay 19-7. The second period was dominated by Tampa Bay, which outshot Chicago 17-7, but there was no scoring. In the third period, Brandon Saad gave Chicago its first lead at 4:14, but Tampa Bay countered on the next shift on a goal by Ondrej Palat to tie the score once again. Late in the third period, Victor Hedman led a rush down ice for Tampa Bay and passed to Cedric Paquette who scored to put the Lightning ahead again. The Lightning were able to defend their lead to win the game 3-2 and take a series lead two games to one.
|1st||TB||Ryan Callahan (2)||Victor Hedman (12) and J. T. Brown (1)||05:09||1-0 TB|
|CHI||Brad Richards (3) - pp||Marian Hossa (11) and Andrew Shaw (7)||14:22||1-1|
|3rd||CHI||Brandon Saad (7)||Marian Hossa (12) and Duncan Keith (18)||04:14||2-1 CHI|
|TB||Ondrej Palat (8)||Nikita Kucherov (12) and Tyler Johnson (10)||04:27||2-2|
|TB||Cedric Paquette (3)||Victor Hedman (13) and Ryan Callahan (6)||16:49||3-2 TB|
|CHI||Brandon Saad||Goaltender interference||15:52||2:00|
|Shots by period|
The Lightning chose to rest injured goaltender Ben Bishop for game four in favor of rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Lightning protected Vasilevskiy with tight defensive play, allowing only two shots by the Blackhawks in the first period, which was scoreless. For the first time in the series, the Blackhawks scored the first goal, on a goal by Jonathan Toews at 6:40 of the second. Alex Killorn tied it for the Lightning at 11:47 and the game was tied 1-1 after two periods. In the third, the Blackhawks' Brandon Saad muscled his way to the goal and scored on a backhand past Vasilevskiy at 6:22 to put the Blackhawks ahead. The game's pace picked up as the Lightning tried to tie the score but the Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made several outstanding saves to shut out Tampa Bay the rest of the way. The win tied the series at two games apiece. It was the first time since 1968 that the first four Stanley Cup Finals games were all decided by one goal.
|2nd||CHI||Jonathan Toews (10)||Patrick Sharp (10) and Marian Hossa (13)||06:40||1-0 CHI|
|TB||Alex Killorn (9)||Valtteri Filppula (10) and Steven Stamkos (11)||11:47||1-1|
|3rd||CHI||Brandon Saad (8)||Patrick Kane (11)||06:22||2-1 CHI|
|CHI||Jonathan Toews||High sticking||12:42||2:00|
|TB||Alex Killorn||High sticking||19:08||2:00|
|3rd||TB||Steven Stamkos||Delay of game (puck over glass)||01:04||2:00|
|Shots by period|
The series returned to Tampa for game five and Ben Bishop returned to the net for the Lightning. The Blackhawks scored first for the second consecutive game, this time on a miscue by Bishop and Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman. The two collided and Patrick Sharp skated to the empty net with the puck, scoring at 6:11 of the first, a lead they held until 10:53 of the second when Valtteri Filppula scored to tie the score 1-1. The teams were tied going into the third, but Antoine Vermette scored for the Blackhawks at 2:00 of third and the lead held up as the Blackhawks played tight defence the rest of the way. The Blackhawks took the lead in the series three games to two, to give themselves a chance to win the Cup at home, something the franchise has not done since 1938. For the second time in Finals history and the first since 1951, wherein all five games that had to be played went to overtime, all games of the series through game five have been decided by one goal, with neither team leading by more than one goal.
|1st||CHI||Patrick Sharp (5)||Teuvo Teravainen (6) and Jonathan Toews (11)||06:11||1-0 CHI|
|2nd||TB||Valtteri Filppula (4)||Jason Garrison (5) and Anton Stralman (8)||10:53||1-1|
|3rd||CHI||Antoine Vermette (4)||Kris Versteeg (1)||02:00||2-1 CHI|
|3rd||TB||Bench (served by Jonathan Drouin)||Too many men on the ice||19:51||2:00|
|Shots by period|
In game six, the teams were tied 0-0 after the first period. In the first period, Steven Stamkos put a shot off the crossbar and was stopped on a breakaway early in the second by Corey Crawford but it was the Blackhawks who scored first on a goal by Duncan Keith on a rebound of his own shot near the end of the second period to put Chicago ahead 1-0 after two periods. In the third period, the Blackhawks' Patrick Kane scored on a pass from Brad Richards and play by Brandon Saad to put the 'Hawks ahead 2-0, the first two-goal lead of the series. The Blackhawks then frustrated the Lightning the rest of the way to win the game 2-0, a shutout for Crawford and the Stanley Cup championship. It was revealed after the game that the Lightning's goaltender Ben Bishop had played with a torn groin muscle since game two and Tyler Johnson was playing with a fractured wrist, injured in game one. This was also the first time since 1938, when they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fourth game of a best-of-five Finals at Chicago Stadium, and the first time at the United Center that the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup on home ice.
|2nd||CHI||Duncan Keith (3)||Patrick Kane (12) and Brad Richards (10)||17:13||1-0 CHI|
|3rd||CHI||Patrick Kane (11)||Brad Richards (11) and Brandon Saad (3)||14:46||2-0 CHI|
|Shots by period|
|#||Nat||Player||Position||Hand||Age||Acquired||Place of birth||Finals appearance|
|29||Bryan Bickell||LW||L||29||2004||Bowmanville, Ontario||second (2013)|
|13||Daniel Carcillo||LW||L||30||2014||King City, Ontario||third (2010, 2013)|
|50||Corey Crawford||G||L||30||2003||Montreal, Quebec||second (2013)|
|26||Kyle Cumiskey||D||L||28||2014||Abbotsford, British Columbia||first|
|33||Scott Darling||G||L||26||2014||Newport News, Virginia||first|
|11||Andrew Desjardins||LW||L||28||2015||Lively, Ontario||first|
|4||Niklas Hjalmarsson||D||L||27||2005||Eksjö, Sweden||third (2010, 2013)|
|81||Marian Hossa||RW||L||36||2009||Stará ?ubov?a, Czechoslovakia||fifth (2008, 2009, 2010, 2013)|
|88||Patrick Kane||RW||L||26||2007||Buffalo, New York||third (2010, 2013)|
|2||Duncan Keith - A||D||L||31||2002||Winnipeg, Manitoba||third (2010, 2013)|
|16||Marcus Kruger||C||L||25||2009||Stockholm, Sweden||second (2013)|
|42||Joakim Nordstrom||C||L||23||2010||Stockholm, Sweden||first|
|27||Johnny Oduya||D||L||33||2012||Stockholm, Sweden||second (2013)|
|31||Antti Raanta||G||L||26||2013||Rauma, Finland||first|
|91||Brad Richards||C||L||35||2014||Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island||third (2004, 2014)|
|32||Michal Rozsival||D||R||36||2012||Vla?im, Czechoslovakia||second (2013)|
|5||David Rundblad||D||R||24||2013||Lycksele, Sweden||first|
|20||Brandon Saad||LW||L||22||2011||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||second (2013)|
|7||Brent Seabrook||D||R||30||2003||Richmond, British Columbia||third (2010, 2013)|
|10||Patrick Sharp - A||LW||R||33||2005||Winnipeg, Manitoba||third (2010, 2013)|
|65||Andrew Shaw||RW||R||23||2011||Belleville, Ontario||second (2013)|
|86||Teuvo Teravainen||RW||L||20||2012||Helsinki, Finland||first|
|44||Kimmo Timonen||D||L||40||2015||Kuopio, Finland||second (2010)|
|19||Jonathan Toews - C||C||L||27||2006||Winnipeg, Manitoba||third (2010, 2013)|
|57||Trevor van Riemsdyk||D||R||23||2014||Middletown, New Jersey||first|
|80||Antoine Vermette||C||L||32||2015||Saint-Agapit, Quebec||second (2007)|
|23||Kris Versteeg||LW||R||29||2013||Lethbridge, Alberta||second (2010)|
|#||Nat||Player||Position||Hand||Age||Acquired||Place of birth||Finals appearance|
|30||Ben Bishop||G||L||28||2013||Denver, Colorado||first|
|11||Brian Boyle||C||L||30||2014||Hingham, Massachusetts||second (2014)|
|23||J. T. Brown||RW||R||24||2013||Burnsville, Minnesota||first|
|25||Matt Carle||D||L||30||2012||Anchorage, Alaska||second (2010)|
|55||Braydon Coburn||D||L||30||2015||Calgary, Alberta||second (2010)|
|24||Ryan Callahan||RW||R||30||2014||Rochester, New York||first|
|27||Jonathan Drouin||LW||L||20||2013||Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec||first|
|51||Valtteri Filppula||C||L||31||2013||Vantaa, Finland||third (2008, 2009)|
|5||Jason Garrison||D||L||30||2014||White Rock, British Columbia||first|
|50||Kristers Gudlevskis||G||L||22||2013||Aizkraukle, Latvia||first|
|77||Victor Hedman||D||L||24||2009||Örnsköldsvik, Sweden||first|
|9||Tyler Johnson||C||R||24||2011||Spokane, Washington||first|
|17||Alex Killorn||C||L||25||2007||Halifax, Nova Scotia||first|
|86||Nikita Kucherov||RW||L||21||2011||Maykop, Russia||first|
|42||Jonathan Marchessault||C||R||24||2014||Cap-Rouge, Quebec||first|
|10||Brenden Morrow||LW||L||36||2014||Carlyle, Saskatchewan||second (2000)|
|90||Vladislav Namestnikov||C||L||22||2011||Voskresensk, Russia||first|
|89||Nikita Nesterov||D||L||22||2011||Chelyabinsk, Russia||first|
|18||Ondrej Palat||LW||R||24||2011||Frýdek-Místek, Czechoslovakia||first|
|13||Cedric Paquette||C||L||21||2012||Gaspé, Quebec||first|
|91||Steven Stamkos - C||C||R||25||2008||Markham, Ontario||first|
|6||Anton Stralman||D||R||28||2014||Tibro, Sweden||second (2014)|
|62||Andrej Sustr||D||R||24||2013||Plze?, Czechoslovakia||first|
|88||Andrei Vasilevskiy||G||L||20||2012||Tyumen, Russia||first|
In the U.S., the Finals were split between NBC and NBCSN, called by NBC Sports' lead commentary team of Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire; it was originally announced that games two and three were to be broadcast by NBCSN, with the remainder on NBC. Game two was moved to NBC to serve as a lead-out for its coverage of the 2015 Belmont Stakes in favor of game four on NBCSN. As Olczyk was also a contributor to NBC's Belmont coverage, he was absent during game two.
In Canada, all six games were broadcast by CBC Television (through Hockey Night in Canada, as produced by Sportsnet through a brokerage agreement) in English, TVA Sports in French, and Omni Television in Punjabi. These were the first Stanley Cup Finals under Rogers Communications' exclusive national broadcast rights to the NHL in Canada.
This was the second-most watched Stanley Cup Finals on U.S. television since 1995, trailing only the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, with an average 3.2 Nielsen rating and 5.6 million viewers on NBC and NBCSN. Game six was seen by 7.6 million viewers nationally on NBC. Ratings for game six were especially strong in Chicago and Tampa Bay: it was the most-watched NHL broadcast locally in Chicago history, and the second-highest in Tampa Bay. By contrast, ratings in Canada dropped significantly, making it the lowest-rated Stanley Cup Final since 2009. Game six, facing competition from a Team Canada match in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, and the Toronto Blue Jays (which had seen increased ratings due to a major winning streak), was the lowest-rated deciding NHL playoff game on Canadian television since the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals.