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Lightning vs. Blackhawks 2015 final score: Bishop leads gutsy 3-2 win in Game 3

An injured netminder put on one of the best performances of the playoffs.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

It took an otherworldy performance from their ailing netminder and top defenseman, but the Tampa Bay Lightning eked out a 3-2 Game 3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks to take a 2-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final.

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop fought through an injury to stop 36 of 38 shots on net in the win.

The Lightning began the game with purpose, buzzing all around the Chicago defensive zone until a fantastic pass from Victor Hedman to Ryan Callahan led to a goal and early 1-0 lead for the Lightning. Chicago seemingly had no answer for Tampa Bay's forecheck, until the Blackhawks began to impose their will themselves. After Callahan's goal, the Blackhawks outshot the Lightning 15-0 to finish the period. One of those shots was from Brad Richards, which found its way past Bishop to tie the game at 1-1.

Bishop appeared hurt all game long, and never was it more apparent than in the second period. Although the Lightning dominated play for long stretches, each scoring chance from Chicago seemed to make Bishop labor in net even more. Despite this, Lightning coach Jon Cooper put on his best poker face and denied his goalie was injured.

Bishop remained in the game, and the Blackhawks eventually got one past him in the third period to take a 2-1 lead. But seconds later, Ondrej Palat slipped one by Corey Crawford at the other end to re-tie the game.

It looked like Game 3 was headed to overtime until Hedman struck again. The Lightning defenseman continued his amazing series with three minutes left in the third, dashing and dancing through the Blackhawks zone before setting up the game-winning goal by Cedric Paquette.

3 things we learned

1. Something is wrong with Ben Bishop

No, not his abnormal height. Bishop's status for Game 3 was already up in the air with injury concerns before Cooper put him in net to start. As the game wore on, those concerns proved to be warranted. Bishop was sluggish to pucks, unsure of himself and obviously in a lot of pain. And yet, he stuck it out and put on a terrific performance. Whether it was worth it is a question that will be answered going forward, but for now it can be appreciated as an all-time performance.

2. Tampa Bay's improved forecheck worked

The Lightning were absolutely tenacious on the forecheck in Game 3 from the moment the puck dropped to start the game. They frequently hemmed Chicago in their own zone, putting two forwards in deep to trail puck carriers like hawks all night. It paid off -- although Chicago dominated in short stretches, the Lightning were able to stem the tides with their tenacity on the puck.

3. Chicago can't make the most of its opportunity

The Blackhawks smelled blood in the water when Bishop was playing hurt in the second period. At one point, coach Joel Quenneville could be seen rallying his troops to get as physical as possible with the goalie to gain an edge. But despite Bishop's ailments and numerous scoring chances (including two missed shots on wide open nets), the Blackhawks didn't fully take advantage of the situation.

3A. Good gosh, Victor Hedman is good

He's so good we couldn't just learn three things. Hedman's opening pass to set up Callahan's goal was flat-out impressive. And his finisher to deftly set up Paquette's game-winner was even more amazing. The Lightning's best defenseman might be the best player in this Stanley Cup Final right now, as well as coming into his own as one of the best defensemen in the league. He's making hockey look like a cakewalk.