Toronto — The Tampa Bay Lightning remained perfect in overtime and are headed to the NHL’s Eastern Conference finals for the fourth time in six seasons.
Victor Hedman scored with 5:50 left in the second overtime to give the Lightning a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Monday night, ending their second-round playoff series in five games.
Victor Hedman beat goaltender Jaroslav Halak from the left circle with 5:50 left in the second OT, during which Tampa Bay outshot the team with the league’s best record during the regular season 7-1.
The resilient Lightning improved to 5-0 in overtime games in this year’s playoffs.
“We know what we want,” Hedman said. “We’re not taking no for an answer.”
David Krejci’s goal at 17:27 of the third period wiped out a 2-1 lead that Anthony Cirelli gave the Lightning when he redirected Hedman’s shot past Halak with just under eight minutes remaining in regulation.
Krejci, limited to one point in the first four games of the series, also assisted on David Pastrnak’s power-play goal in the second period for Boston, which was left wondering might have been if the season had not been put on pause in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was definitely a unique experience, playing in a bubble and no fans,” Boston’s Patrice Bergeron said.
Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy had 45 saves and Ondrej Palat scored his fifth goal in four games for Tampa Bay, which is back in the East finals after being swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round in 2019.
“It’s a great feeling to win the first two rounds, especially after last year,” said Vasilevskiy, who stopped 147 of 157 shots in the series.
Halak, who allowed 11 goals over the previous three games, stopped 32 of 35 shots.
The Lightning played without reigning MVP Nikita Kucherov for most of the night, losing him for the final seven minutes of the opening period after Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara drew a 4-minute double minor penalty for high-sticking the Tampa Bay star.
Kucherov returned at the start of the second, but departed again for the rest of the game after serving a penalty for tripping – a miscue that set the stage for Boston to erase a 1-0 deficit on Pastrnak’s power-play goal at 12:38 of the period.
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Colorado 6, Dallas 3: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare began a five-goal scoring spree in the first period and the Colorado Avalanche avoided second-round elimination.
The Avalanche trail the Stars 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. They’ve never won a series in team history when facing a 3-1 deficit.
Game 6 is Wednesday.
Andre Burakovsky, Nathan MacKinnon, Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen also scored in a 2:36 span for Colorado in a high-flying first period. The five goals tied the franchise postseason record for a period.
Burakovsky added another in the second. He also had an assist.
Colorado goaltender Michael Hutchinson made an unexpected start as he stepped in for Pavel Francouz. Hutchinson earned his first NHL playoff victory by turning back 31 shots.
Stars starting goaltender Ben Bishop surrendered four goals before being replaced by Anton Khudobin with 6:17 remaining in the first. Despite being deemed “unfit to play” after the morning skate, Bishop surprisingly made his first appearance in net since Aug. 13.
(6)N.Y. Islanders 3, (1)Philadelphia 1
Monday, Aug. 24: N.Y. Islanders 4, Philadelphia 0
Wednesday, Aug. 26: Philadelphia 4, N.Y. Islanders 3, OT
Thursday, Aug. 27: Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Islanders, ppd.
Saturday, Aug. 29: N.Y. Islanders 3, Philadelphia 1
Sunday, Aug. 30: N.Y. Islanders 3, Philadelphia 2
Tuesday, Sept. 1: Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
x-Thursday, Sept. 3: N.Y. Islanders vs. Philadelphia, TBD
x-Saturday, Sept. 5: N.Y. Islanders vs. Philadelphia, TBD
(2)Tampa Bay 4, (4)Boston 1
Sunday, Aug. 23: Boston 3, Tampa Bay 2
Tuesday, Aug. 25 : Tampa Bay 4, Boston 3, OT
Wednesday, Aug. 26: Tampa Bay 7, Boston 1
Friday, Aug. 28: Tampa Bay vs. Boston, ppd.
Saturday, Aug. 29: Tampa Bay 3, Boston 1
Monday, Aug. 31: Tampa Bay 3, Boston 2, 2OT
(1)Las Vegas 3, (5)Vancouver 1
Sunday, Aug. 23: Las Vegas 5, Vancouver 0
Tuesday, Aug. 25: Vancouver 5, Las Vegas 2
Thursday, Aug. 27: Las Vegas vs. Vancouver, ppd.
Saturday, Aug. 29: Las Vegas 3, Vancouver 0
Sunday, Aug. 30: Las Vegas 5, Vancouver 3
Tuesday, Sept. 1: Vancouver vs. Las Vegas, 9:45 p.m.
x-Thursday, Sept. 3: Las Vegas vs. Vancouver, TBD
x-Friday, Sept. 4: Vancouver vs. Las Vegas, TBD
(3)Dallas 3, (2)Colorado 2
Saturday, Aug. 22: Dallas 5, Colorado 3
Monday, Aug. 24: Dallas 5, Colorado 2
Wednesday, Aug. 26: Colorado 6, Dallas 4
Friday, Aug. 28: Colorado vs. Dallas, ppd.
Sunday, Aug. 30: Dallas 5, Colorado 4
Monday, Aug. 31: Colorado 6, Dallas 3
Wednesday, Sept. 2: Colorado vs. Dallas, 8 p.m.
x-Friday, Sept. 4: Colorado vs. Dallas, TBD