Lightning rally to down Penguins in overtime. Details & more in this morning’s NHL headlines.
TAMPA BAY TIMES/TRIBLIVE.COM: A shot by Jason Garrison deflected off the back of teammate Tyler Johnson past Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 overtime victory and a 3-2 series lead in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov was the game star with two goals and an assist to help his club rally back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits, with his second goal forcing overtime.
Fleury made his first start since being sidelined by concussion symptoms on March 31. He made 21 saves but his performance at times showed the effects of his lengthy layoff. The series returns to Tampa Bay on Tuesday with the Penguins facing elimination.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The notable thing about the Lightning in this year’s playoffs is they can find a way to win no matter how dire their situation. Despite missing some key players to injury, their depth gives them the ability to overcome adversity. As for the Penguins, the question is no longer “Will we see Fleury in this series?”, but “Will the Penguins return to Matt Murray for Game 6?”
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Goaltender Jake Allen will make his second straight start for the St. Louis Blues in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. Allen backstopped the Blues to a 6-3 victory in Game 4 to even the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
THE MERCURY NEWS: The war of words rivalry between San Jose Sharks coach Pete DeBoer and Blues bench boss Ken Hitchcock is adding an extra level of intensity to the Western Conference Final.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: The fate of Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk should be decided by mid-June. His agent said Datsyuk will give his final word to the Wings when he returns to Detroit between June 6-16 and meets with GM Ken Holland. It’s believed the long-time Wings star will return to Russia for personal reasons.
LA PRESSE: Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban welcomed guests to the Children’s Ball charity event yesterday.
USA TODAY: The United States is having difficulty attracting players to participate in the World Championships.
THE SCORE: Former NHL enforcer Georges Laraque “was involved in helping prevent a 7-year-old girl from being kidnapped in a Montreal park Saturday afternoon.”