Mikhail Sergachev’s first two goals of the playoffs came at the most opportune time.
The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the New York Rangers 3-1 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday night and are one win away from making their third straight Stanley Cup Final.
Mikhail Sergachev played the hero for the Lightning in the game. The Tampa Bay defender scored the equalizer in the second period at the 17:34 mark in the game. In the third period, Sergachev would be credited with a goal through traffic to put the Lightning up 2-1.
Brandon Hagel would later score the empty-net goal to seal the game for Tampa Bay.
Sergachev’s goals were the first two of the playoffs. He has eight playoff goals in his career.
The Rangers got on the board first thanks to an unassisted goal from Ryan Lindgren on an incredible angle, but it was all the scoring New York could muster on goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Vasilevskiy finished with 24 saves and may have gotten lucky after Ryan Strome misplayed a puck right in front of the net. It could have been the goal that tied the game up but the puck got away.
The Lightning have won three consecutive games in the series and are close to getting back to the Stanley Cup Final. Tampa Bay could wrap up the series at home on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
Tampa Bay has an 8-2 record when leading 3-2 in a best-of-7 series.
A win for the Lightning means they will face the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Final. A win for the Rangers means Game 7 is back in New York City.