Stanley Cup 2022: Ondrej Palat’s goal keeps the Lightning alive against the Avalanche


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The Tampa Bay Lightning survived to play another day with a Game 5 win over the Colorado Avalanche 3-2.

Ondrej Palat scored the go-ahead goal with 6:22 to go. Palat’s shot just passed Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper’s glove and landed in the back of the net. It was exactly what the Lightning needed to overtake Colorado. Tampa Bay didn’t follow the entire game and is now returning the series to the East Coast.

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Ondrej Palat #18 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates a goal during the third period of Game 5 of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena on June 24, 2022 in Denver, Colorado.
(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

It was Palat’s 11th goal in the series.

Tampa Bay got a big game from goaltender Vasilevskiy. He stopped 36 shots and held off Colorado’s powerful offense for most of the game. The only two goals he allowed were Valeri Nichushkin in the second period and Cale Makar in the third period.

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In the third period, Makar’s shot hit Vasilevskiy, then ricocheted off Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak and went through Vasilevskiy’s legs. The goal tied the game earlier in the period.

Colorado Avalanche number 8 Cale Makar celebrates a goal with teammates during the third period of Game 5 of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Ball Arena on June 24, 2022 in Denver, Colorado.

Colorado Avalanche number 8 Cale Makar celebrates a goal with teammates during the third period of Game 5 of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Ball Arena on June 24, 2022 in Denver, Colorado.
(Harry Comment/Getty Images)

Colorado Avalanche right winger Valeri Nichushkin (13) celebrates after scoring a second goal in period during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena from Denver, Colorado on June 24, 2022.

Colorado Avalanche right winger Valeri Nichushkin (13) celebrates after scoring a second goal in period during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena from Denver, Colorado on June 24, 2022.
(Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

But it was Palat’s goal that gave the Lightning some hope.

Jan Rutta scored in the first period to put the Lightning first. In the second period, Nikita Kucherov scored on the power play to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) celebrates with right wing Corey Perry (10) after scoring a first period goal in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Lightning 'Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado on June 24, 2022.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) celebrates with right wing Corey Perry (10) after scoring a first period goal in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Lightning ‘Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado on June 24, 2022.
(Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Colorado could end the series with a win. The team now has a 3-2 series lead over the Lightning and a win on Sunday could give them their first Stanley Cup championship since 2001.

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A win for the Lightning on Sunday will force a Game 7.


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