Tampa's Cedric Paquette and J.T. Brown celebrate Paquette's game-winning goal in the third period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday. (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
Tampa Bay center Cedric Paquette had just two NHL playoff goals before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday – and his third, which won the game late in the third period for the Bolts to give them a 2-1 series lead over Chicago, was the biggest of his career.
Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Cedric Paquette had only scored two NHL playoff goals prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday night in Chicago. But he'll remember his third career post-season goal at hockey's highest level – it was the game-winner late in the third period to give the Bolts a 3-2 win and a 2-1 series lead.
The game appeared headed to overtime late in the final frame, but after another brilliant rush and pass from Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman – rapidly becoming the Bolts' top Conn Smythe Trophy candidate as playoff MVP – Paquette was left all alone with the puck in front of Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, and promptly scored the final goal of the night with 3:11 left in regulation:
The 21-year-old Paquette had 12 regular-season goals in the 2014-15 campaign, and although three of them were game-winners, none were as big as the one he had for the Lightning Monday.