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game recap

Lightning rally for OT victory in Game 5

Kucherov has two goals, Johnson scores 53 seconds into overtime to defeat Penguins; Tampa Bay leads Eastern Final 3-2

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

Johnson's game-winning goal in OT

TBL@PIT, Gm5: Johnson gives Lightning the series lead

ECF, Gm5: Jason Garrison's wrist shot from the circle deflects off Tyler Johnson and into the twine, giving the Lightning a 4-3 win in overtime

  • 01:29 •

PITTSBURGH -- The Tampa Bay Lightning put the Pittsburgh Penguins on the brink of elimination when they took their only lead of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Tyler Johnson scored 53 seconds into overtime to give the Lightning a 4-3 victory at Consol Energy Center on Sunday. Nikita Kucherov passed the puck to Jason Garrison in the left circle, and Garrison's shot grazed off Johnson in front of the net and got past Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Lightning lead the best-of-7 series 3-2. Game 6 is in Tampa on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"We're in the exact same position we were in last year [against the New York Rangers in the conference final]," Johnson said. "We were able to win and go back home, and we want to get [the win this year] in Game 6 in front of our home fans."

The Penguins blew leads of 2-0 and 3-2 with a chance to move within one victory of the Stanley Cup Final. Kucherov tied it 3-3 with 3:16 remaining in the third period with his second goal of the night and NHL-leading 11th of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Video: TBL@PIT, Gm5: Kucherov tallies two goals in Game 5

It was Pittsburgh's first loss in the regular season or playoffs when leading entering the third period; they were 46-0-0.

Alex Killorn also scored for the Lightning, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves.

Johnson started with a full cage on his helmet before switching to a full visor in Game 4 on Friday after he was hit in the face with a puck in warmups. He wore a half-visor Sunday and said he turned away from Garrison's shot because he thought it was headed for his face.

"He's a winner. That's what winners do. They don't back down," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "When there's a challenge ahead of you, you have to find a way to meet that challenge. Tyler Johnson has proven that long before he came to the Tampa Bay Lightning."

Video: TBL@PIT, Gm5: Killorn roofs wrist shot over Fleury

After Lightning forward Ryan Callahan had his shot hit the right post with 3:52 left and bounce along the goal line, Johnson set up Kucherov for the tying goal.

Johnson backhanded the puck into the crease after taking a drop pass from Kucherov along the half-wall on the left wing. Kucherov collected the rebound and wrapped around the Penguins net to beat Fleury.

It was Fleury's first start of the playoffs. He replaced rookie Matt Murray in Game 4 and made seven saves on seven shots in his first game action since sustaining his second concussion of the season March 31.

"It wasn't the best I've felt in a game," said Fleury, who had backed up Murray since being cleared to return for Game 3 of the second round against the Washington Capitals. "Still though, I've been practicing a lot. I should've been better. … It's tough to lose."

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said he would like to review Fleury's performance before assessing it.

Video: TBL@PIT, Gm5: Kunitz regains the lead for Penguins

Pittsburgh lost a second consecutive game for the first time since losing two straight against the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 12 and Tampa Bay on Jan. 15.

After the Penguins let a two-goal lead slip away, Chris Kunitz put them back in front when he scored with 49.6 seconds remaining in the second period to make it 3-2.

Evgeni Malkin stripped Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman of the puck in the neutral zone before passing to Olli Maatta, who charged into the Tampa Bay zone. Maatta carried the puck below the goal line before spinning and sending it out in front of the crease. Malkin gathered the pass and sent it into the crease, where Kunitz whacked a shot past Vasilevskiy.

Tampa Bay dug itself out of the 2-0 hole with two quick goals in the second.

Video: TBL@PIT, Gm5: Hornqvist finishes Hagelin's deflection

Killorn cut the Penguins lead in half when he scored at 13:15. After Andrej Sustr found him in the left circle, Killorn roofed a shot through a small window between Fleury's blocker and the crossbar for his fifth goal of the playoffs.

Kucherov tied it 1:10 later with his first goal.

After battling through a first period with little offense, the Penguins took a 1-0 lead 0.7 seconds before the intermission on the first NHL playoff goal of defenseman Brian Dumoulin's career. Forward Bryan Rust held off Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman while carrying the puck to the crease, where he slipped a shot off Vasilevskiy's right pad before stumbling over him. Dumoulin followed the play, collected the rebound and shot off Hedman's leg and into the net.

Dumoulin had not scored since he got first NHL goal on Dec. 15, 2014, also against the Lightning.

Video: TBL@PIT, Gm5: Dumoulin jams home rebound late in 1st

Patric Hornqvist made it 2-0 with his seventh playoff goal 1:30 into the second period. Sidney Crosby passed to Maatta at the point, and Maatta sent a shot-pass to Carl Hagelin to the left of the net. Hagelin deflected the pass through the crease to Hornqvist, with Vasilevskiy committing to Hagelin, and Hornqvist tapped it into the open net.

Maatta entered the lineup in place of defenseman Trevor Daley, who is out the rest of the postseason with a broken ankle.

"I felt OK out there," said Maatta, who was a healthy scratch Games 2-4. "I know I can be better. Definitely, as I said, it's all about wins and losses this time of year."

Video: Johnson's OT goal gives Lightning 3-2 series lead

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