It's been five years since a conference final series has gone to a seventh, but that’s where the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins are headed after the Bolts made it 4-for-4 in elimination games this spring by beating the Bruins 5-4 at the St. Pete Times Forum on Wednesday to push the Eastern Conference Finals to the limit.
Not even a hat trick by Boston's David Krejci was enough to give the Bruins the win they needed to earn their first trip to the Final since 1991. Instead, the teams made one last flight to Boston for Game 7 on Friday (8 p.m. ET; Versus, CBC, RDS) -- with the winner earning a transcontinental trip to Vancouver for Game 1 of the Final next week.
With the hockey world pausing for a breath after a wild Wednesday, here's your daily NHL.com Reading List, a set of quick links to some of the stories you won't want to miss:
Bolts' power play strikes
Tampa Bay's power play had produced just two goals through the first five games against Boston. But it turned on the power in Game 6, scoring on its first three opportunities and fueling the series-tying victory. Corey Masisak looks at what the Lightning did right on the power play to keep their season alive.
Bruins' special teams weren't special
Boston's power play has struggled throughout the playoffs, but they have been able to rely on their penalty-killers all spring long. As Shawn P. Roarke reports, that wasn't the case in Game 6, where the penalty-killers were beaten three times before the power play produced a goal -- not enough to avoid a seventh game.
Time to regroup
Boston spent most of the second half of Game 6 playing catch-up. They nearly did it, twice cutting Tampa Bay's lead to a single goal, and they spent most of the last few minutes buzzing the Lightning net. Shawn P. Roarke looks at what the Bruins may be able to take into Game 7 after their strong finish.
Canucks take a break after winning the West
One day after Kevin Bieksa's goal gave the Vancouver Canucks their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 1994, it was a good day to rest and reflect. Emily Kaplan looks at the consistent success that has marked the Canucks' run to the championship round.
Rafalski calls it a career
He had another year and $6 million left on his contract, but Detroit defenseman Brian Rafalski decided that at age 37, his commitment to his family came first and that it was time to hang up his skates. Brian Hedger reports on Rafalski's decision to call it a career.
NHL contract boosted Anderson
J.P. Anderson was disappointed not to be drafted. But the San Jose Sharks ultimately signed him to an entry-level contract, a move that Bill Hoppe says is looking better and better as he leads Mississauga in the Memorial Cup tournament -- he surrendered just one goal in Wednesday's 3-1 win against OHL rival Owen Sound.