Palat scores late, Lightning beat Rangers 3-1 in Game 5

Jun 9, 2022, 8:27 AM | Updated: 9:17 pm
The Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate a goal during the third period against the New York Rangers in Ga...

The Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate a goal during the third period against the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the NHL Hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference Finals, Thursday, June 9, 2022, in New York (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — After falling behind midway through the game, the Tampa Bay Lightning showed the poise of a two-time defending champion. They rallied for another late victory to move a win away from returning to the Stanley Cup Final.

Ondrej Palat scored on a deflection with 1:50 remaining to break a tie and lead the Lightning to a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday night for a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference final.

“We just stayed patient,” Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos said. “We knew it would be a challenge in this atmosphere. We knew it would be a low-scoring grinding game. We continued our game plan and got rewarded.”

Mikhail Sergachev had a goal and an assist, and Brandon Hagel also scored to help the Lightning get their third straight victory, the first by a road team in this series. Andre Vasilevskiy stopped 24 shots.

On the tiebreaking goal, Sergachev got a pass from Victor Hedman and fired a shot from the right point through traffic in front that deflected off Palat’s knee and past Igor Shesterkin to give the Lightning their first lead of the night.

“I saw our guys going to the net hard,” Sergachev said. “I tried to shoot the puck as quickly as possible.”

Ryan Lindgren scored for New York, which had won eight straight at home. Shesterkin finished with 24 saves.

“It definitely stings,” Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba said. “It was a tight game that could have gone either way. I think that’s what makes it more frustrating.”

Game 6 is Saturday night in Tampa, Florida.

“We haven’t won the series, it’s just 3-2,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “The Rangers — any team — has proven they can wipe that out. We’re the first ones with our eyes wide open. knowing that can happen. We’ll see how this goes.”

Vasilevskiy made several sprawling saves midway through the third, stopping attempts by Ryan Strome, Adam Fox and then Lindgren in a 32-second span to keep it tied at 1. Vasilevskiy also gloved a shot by Kevin Rooney with about eight minutes left.

After Palat’s deflection put the Lightning ahead, Hagel sealed the win with a empty-netter with 59 seconds remaining.

“The game-winning goal can come in the first minute or last minute,” Cooper said. “It doesn’t really matter when it comes. You just have to get it.”

The loss dropped the Rangers to a 3-2 series hole for the third time this postseason. They were down 3-1 to Pittsburgh in the first round before winning three straight to advance. Then, they trailed 3-2 against Carolina before winning the last two games to reach the conference finals.

“It seems like we play our best hockey when our backs are against the wall,” Lindgren said. “We’ve just got to go to Tampa and win a game. Take it one game at a time and just draw from those past experiences and go play our best hockey.”

Shesterkin made a nice save on a rush by Palat two minutes into the second period, and Vasilevskiy had sliding pad save on Tyler Motte less than a minute later to keep the game scoreless.

Shesterkin then made several nice saves during a Lightning power play, including on a slap shot by Nikita Kucherov 4:14 into the period.

The Rangers got their first power play of the night when the Lightning were called for too many men with about eight minutes into the middle period. They managed two shots during the advantage.

Shortly after the penalty expired, the Rangers opened the scoring when Lindgren fired a shot from the left side over Vasilevskiy’s right shoulder with traffic in front with 9:31 left in the period. It was the defenseman’s second of the postseason.

After a Lightning turnover, Motte fired a long shot that was gloved and smothered by Vasilevskiy with just under three minutes left to keep it a one-goal game.

Just 30 later, Sergachev tied it from center point with a shot through traffic for his first this postseason with 2:26 to go.

The Rangers outshot the Lightning in a fast-paced and penalty-free first period. New York had the only shot on goal of first 5 1/2 minutes, a slap shot by Braden Schneider 1:42 into the game. Kucherov hit a goalpost less than 20 seconds earlier.

Nicholas Paul hit a post with 8 1/2 minutes left in the period and Shesterkin stopped a shot by Riley Nash with 6:48 remaining on the Lightning’s second shot on goal of the game.

Vasileveskiy made two nice saves a minute later, denying slap shots by Artemi Panarin and Filip Chytil.

LINEUP

The Rangers had forwards Strome and Chytil in the starting lineup. Strome missed Game 4 with a lower body injury sustained in the previous game. Chytil left Tuesday night’s game just past the midpoint of the second period after a hit by Hedman.

New York was without forward Ryan Reaves, who was a healthy scratch. Kevin Rooney, who went in for Strome in the previous game, played again.

The Lightning were without forward Brayden Point (lower-body injury) for a ninth straight game. He has not played since he was injured in Game 7 of the first round against Toronto.

___

Follow Vin Cherwoo at http://www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bump & Stacy Show

AP

Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar, wearing the best young rider's white jersey takes the start of the fourth...
Associated Press

Van Aert wins Tour stage 4 in style and extends overall lead

CALAIS, France (AP) — Belgian rider Wout van Aert won the hilly fourth stage of the Tour de France and extended his overall lead after attacking strongly on the day’s final climb on Tuesday. The Belgian rider kept the leader’s yellow jersey for the Jumbo-Visma team after taking it for the first time on Saturday. […]
1 day ago
Australia's Nick Kyrgios prepares to serve to Brandon Nakashima of the US in a men's singles fourth...
Associated Press

Wimbledon quarterfinalist Kyrgios due in court in Australia

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Wimbledon quarterfinalist Nick Kyrgios is due in court back home in Australia next month, and a lawyer representing him said Tuesday the “precise nature of” the allegations “is neither certain at this moment nor confirmed by either the prosecution or” the 27-year-old professional tennis player. “While Mr. Kyrgios is committed to […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Review: ‘Bull Durham’ fans, rejoice at ‘Church of Baseball’

“The Church of Baseball: The Making of ‘Bull Durham’: Home Runs, Bad Calls, Crazy Fights, Big Swings and a Hit” by Ron Shelton (Knopf) Former minor-league ballplayer Ron Shelton has written and directed a host of sports-themed movies, but it’s doubtful anyone has told him they’ve named their children after the characters in “Tin Cup” […]
1 day ago
Germany's Tatjana Maria celebrates defeating Germany's Jule Niemeier in a women's singles quarterfi...
Associated Press

At 34, Maria reaches Wimbledon semifinals for 1st time

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — The first semifinalist at this year’s Wimbledon is the oldest woman remaining in the draw. Tatjana Maria, a 34-year-old German who returned to the tour less than a year ago following the birth of her second daughter, advanced to the semifinals at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in […]
1 day ago
Germany's Tatjana Maria plays a return to Germany's Jule Niemeier in a women's singles quarterfinal...
Associated Press

Wimbledon updates | Djokovic into SF with 5-set comeback win

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — The Latest from Wimbledon (all times local): ___ 5:15 p.m. Three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic recovered from two sets down to beat Jannik Sinner 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 and advance to the Wimbledon semifinals. The top-seeded Serb extended his winning streak at the All England Club to 26 matches. The […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Wimbledon’s all-white clothing bothers some, delights others

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Before being interviewed on Centre Court about his return to the Wimbledon quarterfinals, Nick Kyrgios traded in his all-white grass-court shoes for a red-and-white pair of basketball sneakers, and swapped out his white hat for a red one. Big deal? Not to Kyrgios. Not to many, probably. Still, sure seemed to […]
1 day ago
Palat scores late, Lightning beat Rangers 3-1 in Game 5