While the first two playoff rounds have been relatively quick in terms of the number of games, the Tampa Bay Lightning have provided their fans with plenty of hockey. Kicking things off with a five overtime game, they’ve added two regular overtime games and a double-overtime on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The good news is that they’ve won them all (along with a shootout against Washington in the round robin that counts as an overtime win) and shows how resilient they’ve been as a team this postseason.
In case you were wondering, yes this is the most overtime wins the Lightning have racked up in a playoff season. They are, however, only halfway to matching the all time record of ten overtime wins held by the 1992-93 Montreal Canadiens - a team that won the Stanley Cup.
As much as it might damage my health by adding stress, here’s hoping the Lightning have a few more of those OT wins left in the future.
It was a back and forth affair Monday night with the Lightning gaining the lead twice but seeing Boston equalize both times. The best thing about overtime is that if you score first, you win. Victor Hedman played the hero in this game, snapping a shot through a screen in the second overtime. [Raw Charge]
This time it was Victor Hedman who played the hero and sent Boston home in double overtime as the Lightning defeated the Bruins 3-2 in Game 5. Aside from Hedman’s heroics, a mountain of praise must be thrown at Andrei Vasilevskiy for his stellar play in this game and being the anchor that Tampa Bay needed when the Bruins were throwing everything at time.
The Tampa Bay Times Recap [Tampa Bay Times]
With less than eight minutes remaining in the third, Victor Hedman took a shot from the blueline and Anthony Cirelli was able to tip it past Boston’s Jaroslav Halak for the 2-1 lead. Hedman’s assist on the play made him the franchise’s all-time assist leader in the postseason with 45.
A recap from the Bruins side. It’s a bit backhanded, but I think this is as close as Bruins fans can come to offering a compliment. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
Call the Lightning whiners, arrogant, annoying, lucky, but they were, for at least three of the five games Boston played against them, the better team. Without Stamkos, and without Kucherov for most of this game. They earned their reputation and then some. Annoying, and Good. Good luck to whoever ends up playing them in the ECF.
As of right now, the status of Nikita Kucherov’s health is unknown. Based on how the Lightning usually handle injuries we won’t know if he’s playing until Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals. [Twitter]
#tblightning Jon Cooper didn't have an update on Nikita Kucherov, but will tomorrow. "We're hopeful. Hopefully we can get a little bit of a break to rest our guys, including him.'— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) September 1, 2020
The Other Game:
Dallas leads series 3-2
The Avalanche rediscovered a little of their mojo as they jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. Which was probably a good thing since Michael Hutchinson started in net for them. Ben Bishop started for the Stars, but as you can imagine he didn’t finish the game. The Stars didn’t quit (despite a couple of players getting ejected) and following a power play goal to make it 6-3, they played the final five minutes of the game without a goaltender, but couldn’t close the gap with the extra skater. Can Colorado build on this win and come back extend the series?
7:00 pm, NBCSN, CBC, TVAS
It would be really nice for the Flyers to win this game. Not because we’re fans of the Flyers, but the longer these two teams beat each other up, the better it is for the Lightning. I think it’s time for another Carter Hart shutout.
9:45 pm, NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, SN
Vancouver had a nice run, but Vegas is just a better team.
Other Hockey News:
Kenny Albert on life in the bubble. [NHL.com]
Jacques Martin wasn’t out of a job long enough to collect unemployment. The former Jack Adams winner was named an assistant coach for the New York Rangers where he will be tasked with fixing their defense. [Blue Shirt Banter]
The league announced that, once again, there were no positive tests reported in the two hub cities. Things should get even easier next week once all four teams move to Edmonton for the conference finals. [Sportsnet]
It didn’t make as big of a splash as the big Toronto/Pittsburgh trade last week, but on Monday the Florida Panthers re-signed Brady Keeper to a one-year/two-way contract. The defenseman is the first person from the Pimicikamak Cree Nation to play in the NHL. In 61 games for the Springfield Falcons in 2019-20, Keeper had 18 points (6 goals, 12 assists) and 108 penalty minutes. He played in one game for the Panthers in the postseason Qualifying Round. [NHL.com]
Alain Vigneault learns that “sticking to hockey” is no longer an option. [Broad Street Hockey]