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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.

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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.

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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.

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"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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