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The Tampa Bay Lightning survived to play another day with a Game 5 victory against the Colorado Avalanche 3-2.
Ondrej Palat scored the go-ahead goal with 6:22 to go. Palat’s shot just go past Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper’s glove and into the back of the net. It was exactly what the Lightning needed to get past Colorado. Tampa Bay didn’t trail the entire game and now sends the series back to the East Coast.
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It was Palat’s 11th goal of the series.
Tampa Bay got a big game from goaltender Vasilevskiy. He stopped 36 shots and managed to somehow keep Colorado’s high-powered offense at bay for most of the game. The only two goals he allowed were to Valeri Nichushkin in the second period and Cale Makar in the third period.
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In the third period, Makar’s shot hit off Vasilevskiy and then ricocheted off Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak and got through Vasilevskiy’s legs. The goal tied the game earlier in the period.
But it was Palat’s goal that gave the Lightning some added hope.
Jan Rutta scored in the first period to put the Lightning on the board first. In the second period, Nikita Kucherov scored on a power play to put Tampa Bay up 2-1.
Colorado could end the series with a win. The team now has a 3-2 lead in the series over the Lightning and a win on Sunday could give them their first Stanley Cup championship since 2001.
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A win for the Lightning on Sunday will force a Game 7.