The Tampa Bay Lightning get to go home one more time before this series is done after beating the Colorado Avalanche on the road in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
The majority of this Game 5 mimicked what we saw in Game 4, with the Lightning getting a lead early, quickly swapping goals midway through the night, and losing the lead early in the third. This time, instead of missing on their chances and looking poor in overtime, Ondřej Palat scored the game-winner late in the third and the team defended the rest of the way to secure victory.
Okay, well not quite defended the whole way through. The Avalanche took an ironic too many men penalty with three minutes left, killing most of their chances to tie the game.
Jan Rutta, Nikita Kucherov, and Ondřej Palat scored the goals in a 3-2 victory for the Bolts, with Valeri Nichushkin and Cale Makar getting the goals for the Avs. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 38 of 40 shots in the win, while Darcy Kuemper allowed three goals on 29 shots.
Another bad goal from Kuemper early in a game. This time a slap shot from Rutta going between his pad and glove. Woof!
Vasilevskiy couldn’t get a handle on a high shot from Makar after the Avs were buzzing in the offensive zone. Cernak let Nichushkin get behind him and Nichushkin potted home an easy rebound.
The Bolts had a couple power plays early in the game where they looked pretty poor. Stamkos even went into the bumper position for a bit. But on a 4-on-3, they were able to collapse the offensive zone down to within the face-off dots, giving Kucherov and Stamkos several great looks. Eventually Kucherov found one he liked and smacked his shot past Kuemper to regain the lead.
Early in the third Makar pounced down the wing and put on a shot that bounced it way around the slot and somehow under Vasilevskiy to tie the game again early in the third. I think the puck went off Cernak’s skate.
Palatapus!!! He does it again! This time getting lost in the middle of the ice as both Makar and Compher thought they needed to defend Hedman in the corner. As Makar realized his mistake (or Compher’s) it was too late as Hedman found Palat all alone in the slot. His shot was sort of stopped by Kuemper but it squeaked through and clearly across the line before an Avs player swiped it away. This goal was the first third period goal for the Lightning in this series.
As the Avs were trying hard to push for the tying goal, but they took a blatant too many men penalty while trying to be aggressive on the change again. They got caught this time and were forced to kill a penalty. The Bolts nearly scored on that last power play, and then it didn’t take much to kill off the remaining 50 seconds. Bolts win!