Cally and Vasy Star as the Lightning take a 3-2 ECF Lead

By on May 20, 2018

Cedric Paquette scores off a feed from Ryan Callahan (Photo-Travis Failey)

With the Tampa Bay Lightning just five wins from hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup, you have to be thinking no one deserves it more than Ryan Callahan.  Callahan game after game lays down the grit and hustle while never taking a shift off.  Callahan is always grinding, especially on the penalty kill,  rarely getting the  recognition he merits,  was the first star headliner tonight.

Brake time leads to a ice wash (Photo-Travis Failey)

Ovechkin and Callahan square off (Photo-Travis Failey)

It did not take long for the Lightning to get on top.  As a matter of fact less than nineteen seconds in, who but Callahan makes a play at the offensive blue line to push the puck into the zone.

Ondrej Palat celebrates his wrister past Holtby to put the Lightning up 2-0 (Photo-Travis Failey)

Then he makes a perfect hook pass to Cedric Paquette who buried the puck past Braden Holtby into the twine sending the Lightning fans into a delirium frenzy.  And that was the moment the realization started to set in that yes, the Capitals are going to blow this 2-0 series lead.

Its a hectic 3rd period for Vasy and the Bolts as the Capitals apply pressure (Photo-Travis Failey)

Andrei Vasilevskiy made keys saves all night, especially in the third as the desperate Capitals poured on the pressure.  The Capitals out-shot the Lightning  26-9 in the last 40 minutes and many of the Vasilevskiy saves were of the daunting variety. He was also great handling the puck and pushing it out of the defensive zone.

Vasy pushes the puck to clear it out of the zone (Photo-Travis Failey)

With the Lightning leading 3-1 in third, Alex Ovechkin

drilled one off the crossbar which cut the Lightning lead in half, making the score 3-2 with just 1:36 left.

Ovechkin blast one into the net short side to cut the lead to 3-2 (Photo-Travis Failey)

Facing a potent Washington attack of six skaters, the Lightning clamped down and preserved the home victory. The Lightning now take a 3-2 series lead to 601 F Street NW in the nation’s capital for a possible close out game six on Monday night.

Ovechkin battles against his fellow country man, Nikita Kucherov (Photo-Travis Failey)

Victor Hedman crashes Tom Wilson into the boards (Photo-Travis Failey)

Coach Cooper on Andrei Vasilevskiy:

“It’s tough. You throw the six guys they have when they play 6-on-5. Somebody’s going to be open at some point,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “(Vasilevskiy) is the last line of defense … just laser focus from our guy. You need the big save at the end. His team propelled us to that lead in front of him, and he gave it to us to close it out.”

Andrei Vasilevskiy has now stopped 100 of last 106 shots he faced in three straight wins.

Its chaos in front of the net late in the third as Washington looks for the equalizer (Photo-Travis Failey)

Vasy is in the zone (Photo-Travis Failey)

The horn sounds and the Lightning celebrate and look forward to game 6 in Washington Monday night. (Photo-Travis Failey)

 

Team Statistical Comparison

Key:  Washington   Tampa Bay
Total Shots
Wash  30
 Tampa  22
PIM
 2
 0
Hits
 35
 24
Giveaways
 5
 8
Takeaways
 3
 9
Faceoffs Won
 27
 26

 

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