EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning missed a chance for another overtime-clinching series victory, the kind they have enjoyed this entire postseason.
They didn’t get a power-play goal, either, so the Stanley Cup Final is going at least one more game.
“I thought we played a good enough game to win. I thought in overtime, we really tilted the ice,” forward Ondrej Palat said. “’We had a lot of possession, a lot of chances, we just didn’t score on it.”
After scoring six power-play goals in Games 2-4 against the Dallas Stars to get on the verge of their second Stanley Cup title, the Lightning had only one such chance early in a 3-2, double-overtime loss in Game 5 on Saturday night.
The Lightning ended each of their three Eastern Conference playoff series with an overtime victory: Game 6 of the conference final against the New York Islanders, Game 5 of the second round against Boston and a Game 5 epic against Columbus in the opening round.
Tampa Bay was thinking about lifting the Stanley Cup — the trophy was in the building for the first potential clinching game — after Mikhail Sergachev scored 3:38 into the third period for a 2-1 lead.
“We were close, like 10 minutes away. The job’s not finished,” Sergachev said of the building emotions after his go-ahead goal.
But Joe Pavelski tied the game with 6:45 left in regulation with his 61st career playoff goal, breaking a tie with Joe Mullen for the most for an American-born player. Corey Perry scored the game-winner 9:23 into the second overtime, his second goal of the game.
“I thought we kept it cool. Down early and then obviously that’s a big goal by Sergi,” defenseman Victor Hedman said. “It’s close, but we know it’s 60 minutes.”
“We played well enough to win that game. It was a team that was back against the wall, and a team trying to close out the series. It was good, we had our chances,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “Like I said, I thought we played well enough to win the game, I’m sure they’re saying the same thing. That’s what happens in double-overtime games.”
Game 6 is Monday night.
“We’ve been in this situation before. We’re a resilient group. We know how to respond to adversity,” Hedman said. “We were up 3-1, now it’s 3-2, so just got to go out and get the next one. That’s our focus.”
This was Tampa Bay’s fourth multiple-OT game this postseason. The Lightning needed five extra periods to win Game 1 against Columbus. Their OT clincher against the Islanders came after they had lost in double overtime in Game 5, like they just did against the Stars.
“We’ve felt this feeling before,” Cooper said. “We have felt this sting and then we’ve rebounded.”
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