Tampa Bay Lightning beat Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in OT

PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Tampa Bay Lightning are one win away from a return trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Tyler Johnson deflected Jason Garrison’s wrist shot past Marc-Andre Fleury’s glove 53 seconds into overtime to give the Lightning a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday night to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Game 6 is Tuesday night in Tampa.

Nikita Kucherov scored twice to boost his postseason total to an NHL-best 11 and Alex Killorn picked up his fifth of the playoffs as the Lightning handed the Penguins consecutive losses for the first time since January.

Brian Dumoulin, Chris Kunitz and Patric Hornqvist scored for the Penguins, who lost for the first time all season when leading after two periods. Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves in his first start since March and couldn’t get his hands on Johnson’s redirect.



11:10 p.m. Bolts beat Penguins in OT, leading the series. Game 6 is in Tampa Tuesday.

10:52 p.m. Overtime in Pittsburgh. Nikita Kucherov scores his second of the night with 3:15 remaining, sending the game to OT tied 3-3.

10:45 p.m. Kucherov scores to tie the game. Kucherov corrals a rebound and wraps it around, tucking it past Fleury. We’re tied with just over 3 minutes to play

10:42 p.m. That puck stayed out. Callahan shot off the far post, rides the line, AND STAYS OUT. 3-2

10:41 p.m. Under 5 to go. Closing time for the Lightning, trailing 3-2

10:35 p.m. Vasilevskiy keeping his team within striking distance with a pair of solid stops. The Lightning have less than 8 minutes to even it up.

10:30 p.m. PIT out-shooting TB 25-17 halfway through the third period. Definitely one of the more tame games of this series.

10:21 p.m. Lightning doing a great job of blocking shots now. Both teams have been fearless in that department in a pivotal game 5.

10:18 p.m. Lightning with major pressure. Great keep by Garrison x2. Fleury bailing the Penguins out here. Johnson collides with Letang, and Johnny heads off for tripping. 4-on-4 now.

10:15 p.m. Lightning with a flurry of chances. TB is headed to the power play, as Maata high sticks Koekkoek. Koekkoek is bleeding. That’s 4 minutes.

10:12 p.m. Statistical anomaly of the night: Evgeni Malkin is 8-and-1 in the face-off circle through two periods.

9:55 p.m. Through 2 periods, the Penguins lead the Lightning 3-2. Goals by Dumoulin, Hornqvist, Killorn, Kucherov, and Kunitz. Shots are 21-13 PIT. The Lightning were the better team in the second period, but it’s a wash as each squad strikes twice.

9:52 p.m. Penguins score late in the second period, taking 3-2 lead over Bolts. Outstanding spin by Malkin to keep the play alive. He throws to the net, and Kunitz is there to punch home the rebound.

9:42 p.m. You felt it coming. The Lightning have controlled this period. Gorgeous set-up by Namestnikov, Kuch hits the empty net. 2-2.

9:40 p.m. Immediately after killing the Kucherov penalty, Killorn snipes one from an awful angle. Top shelf, and it’s 2-1.

9:37 p.m. Crazy sequence… Great stop by Vasilevskiy. Thought he had the puck. He didn’t. Penguins fire from the point and Vasi somehow stops it.

9:33 p.m. Lightning coming to life here, but the Penguins are hanging tough. Cole just made a great play to block a Killorn centering feed. Kucherov headed to the box for interference. A chance for the Penguins to re-assert control of this game. Penguins power play gets another chance; PIT leading 2-0 with 8:58 left in the second.


9:29 p.m. Letang heads to the box. Two minutes for slashing. The Lightning will get their first power play, coming up. Fleury OUTSTANDING toe save on Johnson. Flawless set-up by Hedman. Fleury getting a standing ovation here at Consol

9:26 p.m. Slater Koekkoek was impressive in this series. Playing with a quiet confidence, and earning more ice time. Fleury stops Drouin; his best save of the night.

9:22 p.m. Crosby probably just got away with hauling down Namestnikov. Looked like a hook there

9:21 p.m. Vasilevskiy waffle-boards away a chance in front. Penguins are coming on hard. This game is at a tipping point.

9:18 p.m. Excellent puck movement by the Penguins. Crosby out-works Sustr, feeds Maata, to Hagelin, touch pass to Hornqvist. 2-0 PIT. #HBKLine puts in another solid shift. The Lightning are on their heels here… Being out-shot 11-4 so far

8:53 p.m. Domoulin scores with 1 second remaining in the period. Outstanding effort by Cullen to break away at the end of a long shift. Dumoulin trails, buries the loose rebound. Through one period, the Penguins lead the Lightning 1-0 thanks to a Brian Dumoulin goal with 7 seconds left in the first. That Dumoulin goal is partially Stralman’s fault. Instead of shooting, dumped it into the corner. Killorn lost a battle, ended up in TB net. That’s Brian Dumoulin’s first goal since December 15. 2014… When he scored against the (you guessed it) Lightning.

8:50 p.m. Nice play by Bonino to break up a play in the d-zone, then Vasilevskiy ROBS him with the pad after Kessel centers it.

8:45 p.m. With 5:55 left to go in the first, the game is still 0-0. Shots are 4-3 PIT. This isn’t the run-and-gun game we’ve seen in this series.

8:39 p.m. Lightning kill off the Johnson penalty without incident. Really no quality chances for the Penguins there.

8:38 p.m. Crosby skies a chance. Penguins are simply not shooting the puck tonight. Just 2 shots apiece so far. Malkin one-timer, but Vasilevskiy is square and absorbs it. No traffic in front of the Lightning net.

8:34 p.m. Crosby slides to a knee after getting hooked *a little* by Jonhson. Penguins go to the PP.

8:29 p.m. Drouin got caught with his head down looking for a puck, just like in that NYI series. Fehr absolutely leveled him. Fehr hit on Drouin was clean. Stayed on his skates, drove him right in the shoulder.

8:28 p.m. Vasilevskiy already had two hair-raising incidences trying to play the puck behind his net. The Bolts miss Bishop there.

8:25 p.m. Kuhnhackl gets dumped in the corner. Fans want a penalty, but they mustn’t have seen Kuhnhackl holding the stick all the way down

8:23 p.m. Definitely a “feeling out period” in the first 5 minutes. The Penguins fail to seize that early home ice advantage. 0-0, shots 1-1. Silly turnover in front of the Penguins cage gives Johnson a huge chance, but Fleury stands tall.

8:21 p.m. Golden chance for Carle. Drew Fleury out of the net and had a gaping cage to shoot at… Launched it high.

8:20 p.m. Lightning just got away with too many men on the ice. Results in partial breakaway for Callahan, but Fleury rejects him.

8:17 p.m. Boyle turnover leads to a prime chance for the line, but one-too-many passes results in no shot on net.

8:15 p.m. The puck drops in Game 5.

8:00 p.m. Game 5 starts at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

YOUR PHOTOS: Bolts’ Pride – Road to the Cup

The goaltender Ben Bishop and the captain Steven Stamkos will not play in Game 5. Bishop participated in the optional morning skate. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan says the veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will start Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final on tonight against Tampa Bay.

Bolts coach Jon Cooper said about Bishop’s return: “You have to trust the player… Ultimately, it’s up to them.”

On Friday, in Game 4, the Lightning evened the Eastern Conference Final at 2-2. In Game 4, Ryan Callahan provided an early spark, Andrei Vasilevskiy made two big saves in the closing minutes to avoid a total third-period collapse. The Tampa Bay Lightning held on for a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Bolts coach Jon Cooper said at the press conference after the game that he felt his team deserved to be where they are.

“I didn’t think we ever lost control of the game,” he said. “But I was never sitting there saying this game is in trouble for us.”

The teams return to Pittsburgh Sunday for Game 5. They’ll be back in Tampa Tuesday for Game 6. Game 7 would be Thursday in Pittsburgh.


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