Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman celebrates his winning goal against the Boston Bruins with teammates in the second overtime of Monday’s Game 5 in Toronto. Tampa Bay eliminated the Bruins with the win. Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

TORONTO — The Tampa Bay Lightning remained perfect in overtime and are headed to the NHL’s Eastern Conference finals for the fourth time in six seasons.

Victor Hedman scored with 5:50 left in the second overtime to give the Lightning a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Monday night, ending their second-round playoff series in five games.

Boston goaltender Jaroslav Halak and defenseman Torey Krug react after losing Game 5 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second overtime Monday in Toronto. Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

Victor Hedman beat goaltender Jaroslav Halak from the left circle with 5:50 left in the second OT, during which Tampa Bay outshot the team with the league’s best record during the regular season 7-1.

The resilient Lightning improved to 5-0 in overtime games in this year’s playoffs.

“We know what we want,” Hedman said. “We’re not taking no for an answer.”

David Krejci’s goal at 17:27 of the third period wiped out a 2-1 lead that Anthony Cirelli gave the Lightning when he redirected Hedman’s shot past Halak with just under eight minutes remaining in regulation.


Krejci, limited to one point in the first four games of the series, also assisted on David Pastrnak’s power-play goal in the second period for Boston, which was left wondering might have been if the season had not been put on pause in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was definitely a unique experience, playing in a bubble and no fans,” Boston’s Patrice Bergeron said.

Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy had 45 saves and Ondrej Palat scored his fifth goal in four games for Tampa Bay, which is back in the East finals after being swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round in 2019.

“It’s a great feeling to win the first two rounds, especially after last year,” said Vasilevskiy, who stopped 147 of 157 shots in the series.

Halak, who allowed 11 goals over the previous three games, stopped 32 of 35 shots.

The Lightning played without reigning MVP Nikita Kucherov for most of the night, losing him for the final seven minutes of the opening period after Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara drew a 4-minute double minor penalty for high-sticking the Tampa Bay star.

Kucherov returned at the start of the second, but departed again for the rest of the game after serving a penalty for tripping — a miscue that set the stage for Boston to erase a 1-0 deficit on Pastrnak’s power-play goal at 12:38 of the period.

Tampa Bay awaits the winner of the series between the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers, which the Islanders lead 3-1.

NOTES: Boston has a power-play goal in every game of the series. … With Kucherov off the ice, Tampa Bay failed to get off a single shot during its 4-minute power play in the opening period. … Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh returned to the lineup after missing Games 2, 3 and 4 due to injury. … The Bruins played without injured forwards Sean Kuraly, Chris Wagner and Nick Ritchie.

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