After some twists and turns, the Lightning advanced to the 2020 Eastern Conference Final after eliminating the Bruins 3-2 in double overtime of Game 5. Time will tell if this win will end up being very costly for the Lightning, though.
Victor Hedman found some room during the double overtime. After getting a nice shot that didn’t work earlier in 2 OT, Hedman and the Lightning scored the Game 5 double-overtime winner.
But, no doubt, the Lightning have some serious concerns if Nikita Kucherov suffered a significant injury against the Bruins in Game 5.
Highs and lows through regulation, including Kucherov injury
The Lightning and Bruins staggered a bit through the early goings of Game 5. No one scored during the first period, and the two teams combined for just 13 shots on goal.
Really, the major development of the opening frame was Nikita Kucherov getting shaken up. While he actually returned during the second period after taking a high stick from Chara, Kucherov eventually left and didn’t return to Game 5. Find out more about this possibly significant injury here.
After that non-call, Anthony Cirelli scored another deflection goal to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead. While things looked a little dire for the Bruins, David Krejci shot home a strangely bouncing puck to make it 2-2 and send Game 5 to OT.
Lightning eliminate Bruins after Game 5 goes to double OT
The Lightning received another nice break by getting the only power play of the first overtime. Whether you chalk it up to Kucherov being injured or not, Tampa Bay couldn’t get much going on the man advantage, including with that rare OT opportunity. Aside from the occasional blip of productivity, that power play unit has been a drag, including 0-for-4 in Game 5.
Both goalies made some big OT saves. Vasilevskiy robbed Par Lindholm from a high-danger area, while Halak found a way to stop Ondrej Palat on a golden opportunity early in the second OT.
Once Kucherov was out, the Lightning were down to 10 forwards and seven defensemen, so maybe that partially explains the disparity in shots on goal at times. Either way, Vasilevskiy consistently gave the Lightning a chance to win Game 5, while Halak was sharp in his own right.
From here, the Lightning await the winner of the Flyers – Islanders series. The Isles hold a commanding lead, but considering Tampa Bay’s injury concerns, the Bolts are probably rooting for that series to go at least six games.
No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 4 Boston Bruins (TB wins series 4-1)
MORE STANLEY CUP COVERAGE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round schedule