Sergachev Pushes Lightning to Brink of Stanley Cup Finals


NHL Lightning Win Game 5

  • Mikhail Sergachev’s goal and assist pushed Tampa Bay towards a Finals matchup with the Avalanche
  • Lightning place third consecutive cover in NHL Eastern Conference Finals
  • Vasilevskiy once again puts Rangers on notice

Lightning Enjoy Offense From Unknown Entity in Game 5 Win

The Tampa Bay Lightning are on the brink of their third Stanley Cup Finals matchup in the last three seasons after Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev served up a goal and an assist as the Bolts struck the Rangers, 3-1, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Madison Square Garden last night.

Sergachev, who had not scored in 39 playoff games, tied the Rangers up at 1-1 on an unassisted goal at 17:34 in the second period. He then assisted Ondrej Palat at 18:10 in the third as he gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead and pushed them to the brink of another Stanley Cup Finals matchup in the last three seasons.

The Bolts grabbed the 2-1 lead when Sergachev fired the puck and it ricocheted off of Palat’s knee which allowed the Lightning the upper hand with just under two minutes remaining in the third period.

Please Note:
This is the third consecutive series where the New York Rangers have been down 3-2 and facing elimination as they rebounded to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes to set up the matchup with the Lightning.

Defensively, Tampa Bay was once again forceful as the Lightning forced 27 giveaways by the New York Rangers.

Lightning Once Again Pull the Cover with the Spread

Tampa Bay definitively was a road favorite last night as the Lightning had a (-125) number on the money line as it was the fifth time in as many games as the Bolts had been favored in the series.

The Lightning placed (-190) as the favorite in Games 3 and 4 only after they were presented a (-130) in the losses in Games 1 and 2 in New York. New York came into Game 5 sitting with (+105) as the Rangers had won eight in a row at home before Tampa Bay stopped the streak last night. Last night’s 3-1 Lightning victory once again fell UNDER the 5.5 as it was the fourth in a row to play that number after New York covered in Game 1 with a 6-1 win. Tampa Bay covered the (+185) on the (-1.5) while New York sat at (-260) with (+1.5) as the number.

Tomorrow night in Game 6, which is at Amalie Arena in Tampa, the Lightning (-180) is once again the favorite with the OVER/UNDER hovering at 5.5 a well.

With another goal in this series, Ondrej Palat may be doing the most solid detail in covering prop bets inside the game.

Thursday night, he was set at OVER 0.5 points (-115) and then OVER 1.5 shots on goal. Palat has a goal each in the last three games and he has nine shots combined in the last three outings.

Vasilevskiy Once Again Rebounding Bolts

After the New York Rangers went up 2-0 in the series and had scored nine goals on vaunted Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy in the two games, the Rangers were seemingly feeling like the first team that would knock Tampa Bay off in the playoffs since the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2019.

Vasilevskiy has rebounded magnificently as has his defense as New York has given up only four goals in 90 shots in the last three outings. In stopping pucks and forcing unrelenting shots, the Lightning is on the brink of their third Stanley Cup appearance in a row as they have brought the trophy back into Tampa Bay with the previous two championship wins.

Vasilevskiy stopped 24 shots in 25 Rangers’ attempts and he handed the Rangers their first loss at MSG in nine playoff games.

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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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