SPORTS

Stanley Cup final: 3 things to know for Game 6

06/15/2015 04:50 EDT | Updated 06/15/2016 05:59 EDT
Fresh off Saturday's 2-1 win in Game 5, the Chicago Blackhawks will attempt to win their first Stanley Cup title on home ice since 1938 on Monday against Tampa Bay.

Here are three things to know for Monday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET)

Struggling stars

There's a chance the Cup final could extend to a seventh game without Patrick Kane and Steven Stamkos having scored in the series. Kane, who counted 10 goals in 17 games this post-season before facing the Lightning, last scored on May 27 in Game 6 of the Western Conference final against Anaheim. The 26-year-old right-winger has been held without a point in four of the five games in this series, thanks to Tampa's top defensive pairing of Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman. Kane, the NHL's playoff MVP in 2013, did score the game-winning goal in overtime in 2010 to give Chicago its first Cup win since 1961.

Like Kane, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos has one assist in this defensive-oriented series. The NHL's second-leading goal-scorer (43) in the regular season, he has only seven goals in 25 games in these playoffs and none in the past seven outings. However, Stamkos opened the 2015 post-season without a goal in his first seven starts before racking up seven during a 10-game stretch. Tampa might need him to score more than ever as it faces elimination and might not have fellow forward Nikita Kucherov in the lineup.

Coin flip?

The Blackhawks will be backed by a deafening home crowd. The support will be welcome but Chicago has done just fine in elimination games recently. Under head coach Joel Quenneville, the Blackhawks have a record of 42-14 in Games 4 through 7 in playoff series. To boot, they are an impressive 8-2 on home ice this spring.

Lightning fans will suggest their team isn't finished, despite the fact it has scored just one goal in each of the last two games. After blowing Game 5 vs. Detroit in a Eastern Conference quarter-final, Tampa Bay downed the hometown Red Wings in Game 6 and went on to win the Round 1 series. In the second round, the Lightning dropped Game 6 to the Rangers and had to play a winner-take-all contest in New York, where the Blueshirts always win Game 7s. Tampa prevailed to reach the East final. In the 2004 Cup final, the Lightning blew Game 5 at home to Calgary before Martin St. Louis won Game 6 for Tampa in overtime.

More 3rd- line magic?

If you're in the betting mood, there probably would be worse gambles on Monday night than picking Chicago Blackhawks centre Antoine Vermette to score the winning goal. His game winner on Saturday gave Chicago a 3-2 series lead. It represented Vermette's fourth goal of these playoffs and third game winner. The 32-year-old has made up for his struggles following a late-season trade from Arizona and being a healthy scratch three times earlier in the post-season. Vermette and linemates Teuvo Teravainen and Kris Versteeg have stolen the spotlight from Tampa's third-line trio of Cedric Paquette, J.T. Brown and Ryan Callahan and another big goal Monday might be enough to help the Blackhawks hoist the Cup.

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