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Tampa Bay Lightning keep three-peat hopes alive with Game 5 win vs. Colorado Avalanche

Tampa Bay Lightning keep three-peat hopes alive with Game 5 win vs. Colorado Avalanche


The Tampa Bay Lightning’s three-peat bid stays alive.

After a tough Game 4 loss during which a too many men on the ice infraction was missed, the two-time defending champion Lightning gained 3-2 Friday night time to forestall the Colorado Avalanche for clinching the Stanley Cup on dwelling ice.

As a substitute, the collection will swap again to Tampa’s Amalie Enviornment on Sunday (8 p.m. ET, ABC), with the Avalanche nonetheless holding a 3-2 collection lead.

“You are down within the collection, the Cup’s within the constructing, an important atmosphere for the house crew and the way do you present gamesmanship? You do every thing they only did,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper instructed reporters about his crew’s effort.

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The Lightning obtained a 35-save efficiency from goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, one other clutch aim from Ondrej Palat, a uncommon aim from Jan Rutta and a uncommon power-play aim to edge Colorado.

“We talked about it at the moment that we did not have a selection,” captain Steven Stamkos mentioned. “This was do-or-die for us. Typically, you get caught wanting forward a little bit bit and this group did an important job of specializing in the current.”

The Avalanche had been even referred to as for a too many males on the ice penalty late within the sport, forcing them to defend relatively than press for the tying aim.

The Avalanche had outscored the Lightning within the first interval by a mixed rating of 6-1 within the first two video games of the collection. However the Lightning led 1-0 on Friday, due to Rutta’s first aim of this 12 months’s playoffs on a slap shot that obtained via goalie Darcy Kuemper.

Colorado tied the sport at 5:07 of the second interval when Vasilevskiy could not deal with Cale Makar’s floating, deflected shot and the puck landed within the crease for a tap-in by Valeri Nichushkin. It was Nichushkin’s fourth aim of the collection and ninth of the playoffs.

Tampa Bay, which was stopped on its two first-period energy performs and had one power-play aim within the first 4 video games, lastly linked on a 4-on-3 energy play at 8:10 of the second interval with Makar being referred to as for tripping.

The Lightning moved across the puck properly, and Stamkos faked a shot and handed again to Nikita Kucherov, who scored his eighth playoff aim and first of the collection.

“I did not love that decision simply because there was no intent there,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar mentioned of the penalty on Makar. “I do not assume he was checking that man. He simply regarded to me like he simply tripped over his stick. It is a powerful one.”

Makar tied the sport at 2:31 of the third interval with a fluky aim after Vasilevskiy made the unique save, however the rebound went in off Erik Cernak’s skate.

However Palat gave Tampa Bay the win at 13:38 along with his eleventh aim of the playoffs.

He was left alone within the slot and took a cross from defenseman Victor Hedman, who was down low within the Avalanche zone.

“I used to be simply attempting to get open, get misplaced a little bit bit,” Palat mentioned. “I noticed Heddy. He noticed me. It was a straightforward shot for me.”

The Lightning overcame a 3-2 deficit within the first spherical to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, and so they rallied previous the New York Rangers within the convention remaining after shedding the primary two video games on the highway.

“Pretty much as good because it feels to increase the collection, we understand how arduous we needed to work to get that tonight, and we will have to copy that at dwelling,” Stamkos mentioned.

The Avalanche misplaced in Sport 5 to the St. Louis Blues within the second spherical with an opportunity to clinch at dwelling, however they gained Sport 6 on the highway. They’re 8-1 on the highway within the playoffs.

“Guys have been digging in on the highway,” Bednar mentioned. “We have seen within the common season. We have seen it actually step up within the playoffs. Guys are available in hungry and able to play.”  

Palat enters Conn Smythe Trophy equation

Makar would have been the main candidate to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP if the Avalanche had clinched the championship Friday night time.

But when the Lightning can come again and win the collection, Palat would get critical consideration.

Seven of his 11 targets have been scored within the third interval. Three of them have been game-winners, together with two scored within the remaining two minutes of regulation.

“He performs with a few of the greatest gamers on this planet yearly,” Cooper mentioned of the pending unrestricted free agent who has 12 profession playoff game-winning targets. “He is all the time the third man talked about on his line, however when you ask the opposite two gamers on his line, they might speak about him possibly essentially the most.

“He is an important complement to talent gamers, to checkers, to wherever you want him. He simply does his job and he will get rewarded for it due to his effort.”

Across the rinks

Proprietor Jeff Vinik flew the Lightning’s whole full-time workers to Denver to cheer on the crew. “He is a treasure. That man is gold,” Cooper mentioned of Vinik. … Injured Lightning ahead Brayden Level and Avalanche ahead Andre Burakovsky sat out once more. … Fired New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz told NHL.com that he will not go behind the bench this season so he can spend extra time with household. He had been within the operating for the Winnipeg Jets job.

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