Lightning beat Bruins in 2 OTs, advance to conference finals

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy had 45 saves in a win over the Boston Bruins Monday in Toronto. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy had 45 saves in a win over the Boston Bruins Monday in Toronto. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 1 (UPI) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning have clinched a spot in the Eastern Conference finals after a dramatic double-overtime victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of their second-round series in Toronto.

Victor Hedman lit the lamp for the game-winner with 5:50 remaining in the second overtime period of the 3-2 victory Monday at Scotiabank Arena. Tampa Bay won the series 4-1.


The Lightning will now face the Philadelphia Flyers or New York Islanders for a spot in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.

"It's a great feeling. We battled really hard," Hedman told reporters. "You have to give a lot of credit to our forwards. ... We are very happy as a group to move on to the conference finals."

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Lighting left wing Ondrej Palat gave his squad a 1-0 advantage with a score 4:21 into the second period. Bruins right wing Dave Patranak then tied the score about eight minutes later.

The Lightning and Bruins remained tied at 1-1 midway through the third period before Hedman and Brayden Point assisted a go-ahead goal for Anthony Cirelli with 7:57 remaining in regulation.


But the Bruins responded once again when David Krejci forced overtime with a score with 2:33 remaining in the third period.

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Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak and Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy held strong between the pipes in the first overtime to prompt a second bonus period.

Point sent a pass to defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk near the Bruins blue line with about 6 minutes remaining in the final period at the start of the final scoring sequence. Shattenkirk then slid a pass to his left to find Hedman. The Lightning defenseman then skated forward with the puck on his left side before he fired a backhanded wrist shot toward then net, which was crowded by players.

The shot cruised through the traffic and landed in the net past Halak to sound the final horn.

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Halak had 32 saves for Boston. Vasilevskiy had 45 saves for Tampa Bay.

"It was a great series overall," Vasilevskiy said. "They were pretty consistent and we were pretty consistent. All five games were pretty tight, but we were just a little bit better."

Boston -- the No. 4 seed -- beat second-seeded Tampa Bay in Game 1 before the Lightning won four straight games to snag the series.


"This team is resilient and the guys are disappointed," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We thought we were the better team [Monday] and wanted to play on.

"We put ourselves in a hole, but played well enough to win tonight. ... They really made one more play than we did."

The six-seeded Islanders lead the top-seeded Flyers 3-1 in their second-round series. Game 5 of that series is at 7 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Toronto. The winner of that series faces the Lightning in a best-of-seven series at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Canada.

The Lightning have now reached the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs four times in the last six seasons.

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