- Palat continues as Tampa Bay offensive threat with Game 5 winner.
- Lightning Cover Spread to extend Stanley Cup series.
- Bolts alive and well after Game 5 victory.
Tampa Bay riding Unexpected Presence Through Postseason
After Wednesday night’s lack of a call for too many men on the ice on the Colorado Avalanche seemed to have all but ended a potential three-peat for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ondrej Palat was front row and center in Friday evening’s 3-2 win in Game 5.
Palat hit Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper in the left knee pad and the puck trickled into the net as Palat once again paced the Lightning and allowed them to stave off elimination.
Palat took the game-winning shot between the two face-off circles, but he was more poised on the outside of the right circle and straight t in front of Keumper. The Czech native leads Tampa Bay now with 11 goals in the playoffs as he has also packed nine assists and is second on the team with 20 points. Right winger Nikita Kucherov leads the Lightning with 27 points (8 goals/19 assists).
Palat’s marker was the 16th assist for Victor Hedman, who has been like a quarterback in the Tampa Bay offense as the defenseman is third in points with 19 and his 16 assists are second on the squad behind Kucherov’s 19.
Bolts’ Shoot Down Colorado’s Favorite Feel
The Colorado Avalanche have been favored on four of the five occasions in the Stanley Cup Championship series, but at (-200) on Friday evening, the Lightning staved off elimination with Palat’s late goal which penned a 3-2 Bolts’ win.
As the game began, Colorado went in as a (-190) favorite on the money line while Tampa Bay posted a (+160) as the underdog. Whether you bet the Avalanche (-190) or (-200), it was Colorado’s best moneyline of the series so far as the Avs were set at (-145), (-150) and (-175) in coming into Game 5 as the favorite.
MacKinnon’s shot total was set at 4.5 and he blasted six pucks toward Tampa Bay goals Andrei Vasilevskiy. MacKinnon did not score, but he had an assist. His line on going OVER 4.5 shots was set at (-149) while his UNDER was a (+140).
Finally, a Tampa Bay Power Play Rises to the Forefront
Converting off of the power play has been nightmarish for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their third consecutive Stanley Cup appearance. However, Kucherov connected on a 4-on-3 at 8:10 in the second period to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead.
The Lightning never trailed in the game as Jan Rutta scored at the 15:23 mark in the opening period to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead off assists from Corey Perry and Mikhail Sergachov. Tampa Bay has converted just 16 of 80 power-play opportunities, ninth of the 16 NHL playoff teams, in this season’s playoffs for 20 percent. Meanwhile, Colorado leads the NHL with 33.3 percent in posturing 20 of 60 power play opportunities. Colorado’s Valeri Nichuskin and Cale Makar scored to tie the game on each occasion before Palat’s game-winner.
The Avs outshot the Bolts, 37-29, and outhit Tampa Bay, 43-33. The Lightning, however, had a 40-34 advantage in winning face-offs.
— NHL (@NHL) June 25, 2022