May 20 (UPI) -- Cedric Paquette scored 19 seconds into regulation, sparking the Tampa Bay Lightning's 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
The Lightning now hold a 3-2 lead in the series -- and are one win from the Stanley Cup finals -- after the victory Saturday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.
Right wing Ryan Callahan helped gain control of the puck after a Capitals turnover, setting up the first score. He eventually brushed a pass up to Paquette. The Lightning center then stuck a wrist shot through Braden Holtby's five hole.
Ondrej Palat added to the Lighting lead 9:04 into the first frame. Nikita Kucherov skated down the boards on the right on that play. He eventually sent a pass to the center of the ice, finding Palat, who stuck it stick side past Holtby.
Callahan gave the home squad a 3-0 lead 33 seconds into the second period. Anton Stralman did most of the work on that play, skating up the left flank and putting a shot on net. But Holtby denied the attempt, sending the puck into traffic. Callahan skated in front of the net and followed the shot, tapping it in with his stick.
Capitals star Alex Ovechkin got the final score of the game with 1:36 remaining. Ovie hit a top shelf missile on that attempt, finishing a feed from John Carlson past Vasilevskiy's right side. But the Lightning net minder stayed strong down the stretch, preserving the Game 5 triumph.
The Capitals and Lightning now prepare for Game 6, which is set for 8 p.m. Monday at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.