Mikhail Sergachev scored his second goal of the game with 1 minute and 50 seconds left to break the tie and lead Lightning to a 3-1 win over Rangers on Thursday night, which gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead in NHL Eastern Conference Finals.
In the second half, Sergachev defeated Igor Shesterkin on the right wing, cutting through traffic in front of the net, giving Lightning the first advantage of the night.
Brandon Hagel scored an own goal with 59 seconds left to seal Lightning’s third straight win, and the first win by an away team in this series. Tampa Bay goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 24 shots.
Ryan Lindgren scored for Rangers, who won eight consecutive home playoff games after losing Game 1 of the first round to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Shesterkin finished with 24 saves.
Game 6 is Saturday night in Tampa, Florida. Lightning won Games 3 and 4 on ice at home to tie the series and can now reach their third straight Stanley Cup Final with another victory at Amalie Arena.
Vasilevskiy made several saves midway through the third, stopping attempts by Ryan Strome, Adam Fox and Lindgren in a 32-second period to keep the score tied at 1-1. Vasilevskiy also caught a shot from Kevin Rooney with about eight minutes remaining.
Shesterkin made a beautiful save on a run by Ondrej Palat two minutes into the second period, and Vasilevskiy made a sliding save on Tyler Motte less than a minute later to keep the game goalless.
Shesterkin then made several good saves during a power play from Lightning, including a slap from Nikita Kucherov at 4:14 of the period.
The Rangers had their first power play of the night when Lightning was called out by many men on the ice about eight minutes into the middle of the period. They got two kicks during the lead.
Shortly after the penalty expired, Rangers opened the scoring when Lindgren shot from the left side over Vasilevskiy’s right shoulder with traffic in front of the net with 9:31 left in the period. It was Lindgren’s second goal of the postseason.
After a turnover from Lightning, Motte unleashed a long-range shot that was gloved and smothered by Vasilevskiy with just under three minutes left in the game.
Just 30 seconds later, Sergachev equalized from the blue line with a traffic kick for his first goal of this postseason with 2:26 left.
The Rangers had forwards Ryan Strome and Filip Chytil in the starting lineup. Strome missed Game 4 with a lower body injury he suffered in the previous game. Chytil left Tuesday night’s game shortly after the middle of the second period after a hit by Lightning defender Victor Hedman.
Lightning were without forward Brayden Point, who has a lower body injury, for the ninth straight game. He hasn’t played since he was injured in Game 7 of the first round against Toronto.