Kane-less Blackhawks visit Lightning

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks aim to sweep a two-game swing through Florida and record a third victory in a row on Friday night when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Blackhawks began this quick stay in the Sunshine State without Patrick Kane, who was lost for 12 weeks due to a broken collarbone suffered in a 3-2 shootout win over the visiting Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

Even without the star forward, Chicago was able to sweep the home-and-home set with Florida, picking up a 3-0 victory last night behind Corey Crawford's 20- save shutout.

Crawford recorded his second shutout of the season and 12th of his career, while Teuvo Teravainen, Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews all had goals.

The 20-year-old Teravainen scored just over three minutes into Thursday's game to give the Blackhawks the only goal they needed.

"I know I need to step up a little bit and provide some offense but I think everyone has to step up," said Teravainen, who had two goals and two assists in 15 games for the Blackhawks in a previous call-up this season.

Goaltending also will need to step up in Kane's absence and Crawford did that by snapping a personal three-game slide. He had yielded four goals in each of his previous two starts prior to last night and is 1-1-2 lifetime versus the Lightning with a 1.89 goals against average and .908 save percentage in four meetings.

Backup Scott Darling, who made 34 saves in Tuesday's win in what was his eight career NHL game, has never faced Tampa Bay.

The third-place Blackhawks are three points behind the St. Louis Blues in the Central Division, while the Lightning sit second in the Atlantic Division. Tampa Bay is five points behind the first-place Montreal Canadiens and just one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings.

The Lightning have been idle since Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, with netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy yielding all five goals on 18 shots in defeat.

Tampa Bay was coming off a 4-2 victory at Arizona the previous night and went 3-2-0 on a five-game road trip.

"Those back-to-back games were tough, but we showed a lot of effort tonight," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "We just have to be better with the puck."

Tyler Johnson tallied a goal and two assists, Nikita Kucherov finished with a goal and a helper and Brett Connolly and Ondrej Palat each lit the lamp as Tampa Bay's two-game game winning streak came to an end.

The Lightning will play four of their next five at home and are likely to start Bishop, who is 2-1-1 with a 3.49 GAA and .907 save percentage in four games versus the Blackhawks.

Tampa Bay had a five-game series winning streak versus the Blackhawks snapped with a 3-2 shootout loss at Chicago on Nov. 11. Kane had the lone tally of the tiebreaker and Crawford made 25 saves.

Bishop made 37 stops for the Lightning, who are 4-1-1 in their past six at home versus the Blackhawks with a victory in three straight.