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game recap

Lightning defeat Bruins in Game 5, advance to Eastern Final

Vasilevskiy makes 27 saves for Tampa Bay, which will play Penguins or Capitals

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the third time in four seasons with a 3-1 win against the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the second round at Amalie Arena on Sunday.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves, and Brayden Point, J.T. Miller and Anton Stralman scored for Tampa Bay, which won four straight to clinch the best-of-7 series.

Tampa Bay will play the winner of the Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals second-round series. Washington leads the series 3-2 with Game 6 in Pittsburgh on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS, SN).

 

[WATCH: All Bruins vs. Lightning highlights Complete Lightning vs. Bruins series coverage]

 

"It's good, but it will be gratifying if we win two more series," Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said. "We've been here before, so the shock and awe of really getting this far really isn't there. We are happy with our first two series, but there is so much more work to do and we realize that."

David Krejci scored, and Tuukka Rask made 19 saves for the Bruins.

"If we're going to look back throughout the whole season, there's a lot we can be proud of," Boston captain Zdeno Chara said. "There's a lot we can take from this and use as a positive. A lot of people didn't expect us to be a playoff team [or] a 50-win team."

Video: Lightning beat Bruins in five games, advance to ECF

Miller scored on the power play to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead at 14:00 of the second period after Patrice Bergeron took a tripping penalty. Miller executed a give-and-go with Nikita Kucherov and scored on a snap shot.

"[Kucherov's] timing sets the whole thing up," Miller said. "As soon as he dives through, I've got to give it right back. it looks like he's not even going to pass to me, it's amazing, and then it's right on my stick and I know I have to get it quick because you've got to catch the goalie looking for the puck. Obviously it worked out really well."

Point tied it 1-1 at 10:43 of the second period with his third goal of the series. He took control of a loose puck at the hash marks and beat Rask with a backhand.

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Lightning move to Conference Final

"[Miller] tries to center the puck, it hits their guy and bounces right to me," Point said. "I go to the backhand and I tried to get it upstairs actually, fan on it, and I think that's why I was able to squeeze it under his leg."

Krejci gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead with power-play goal at 19:12 of the first period. Charlie McAvoy passed to Krejci, who sent a one-timer past Vasilevskiy on the short side.

The Bruins made a push in the third period but Vasilevskiy saved all 14 shots he faced, including one by David Pastrnak at the hash marks at 12:58, and a save against Bergeron from close range with 2:19 remaining.

"They're an outstanding team, they took away the second and third chances," Bergeron said. "Yes, we had some looks, not enough obviously. I also think that there [were] a few things in our zone that we could've done better to break out easier and generate a little more offense because of that."

Stralman scored an empty-net goal at 18:31 of the third period to make it 3-1.

"They're a good team," Vasilevskiy said. "Of course they weren't going to give up that game just like that. We expected that push and we did a good job handling it."

 

Goal of the game

Miller's goal at 14:00 of the second period.

Video: BOS@TBL, Gm5: Miller nets PPG off give-and-go play

 

Save of the game

Vasilevskiy's save on Bergeron at 17:41 of the third period.

Video: BOS@TBL, Gm5: Vasilevskiy stones Bergeron late in 3rd

 

Highlight of the game

Point's goal at 10:43 of the second period.

Video: BOS@TBL, Gm5: Point slides nifty backhander past Rask

 

They said it

"If I'm going to sit there and break it down every game, I think we got away from playing as a group of five, defending, getting back, working in position and attacking as a group of five. ... If you look at the last two games, we were certainly in a position to win Game 4 right until the end. Today we were right there." -- Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy

 

"We won four in a row, I don't think it has anything to do with our mindset other than we got over a hill, we needed to do to beat the Boston Bruins, who I can't say enough that they're an exceptional hockey team. But it just gives us rest. There's some banged up bodies in there. That's what happens when you go through playoff rounds. Anything you get the rest, not only the body but also the mind, it's huge for us." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper

 

Need to know

The Lightning are the eighth team in the past 20 years to reach the conference final three times in a four-season span. They defeated the New York Rangers in seven games in 2015 and lost to the Penguins in seven games in 2016. ... Bruins forward Brad Marchand was minus-1 with one shot attempt and no shots on goal. ... Boston forward David Backes left the game and did not return after taking a check from Miller at 12:17 of the second period. ... The Bruins went the final 187:20 of the series without an even-strength goal. The last one was by defenseman Torey Krug at 15:58 of the third period of Game 2. ... Boston lost four straight games once during the regular season (Nov. 8-15).

 

What's next

Bruins: Season over

Lightning: Host Game 1 of Eastern Conference Final, TBD

Video: Vasilevskiy, Bolts win Game 5, 3-1, to take series

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