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March 31, 2017

Round 1 Game 5: Lazarev turns aside 51 shots to force game 6

Photo from game 4

Down 3-1 in the series, a depleted Ottawa 67’s squad took to the ice in Mississauga with their backs up against the wall. Without their captain, who was injured in game 4, the 67’s had to find a way to win to extend their playoff hopes.

Enter: Leo Lazarev.

After allowing 6 goals on 34 shots last night, the Russian goaltender had the game of his career just under 24 hours later. Lazarev was Ottawa’s rock throughout the game robbing Mississauga’s big guns like Michael McLeod, Owen Tippett, Spencer Watson, and Vili Saarijarvi at various points in the night. He ended up with 51 saves and almost single handedly won them the game.

Tye Felhaber drew first blood off a beautiful no-look pass from Patrick White late in the first period. White continued to impress into the second period after he skated past the Steelheads defenseman and scored on a partial break. The 67’s would add to their lead after Artur Tyanulin scored his first goal of the playoffs showing incredible patience and puckhandling skills to lose the defender before fooling the goaltender.

While his team was finding ways to score on Jacob Ingham, who has been fantastic in place of injured starter Matthew Mancina this post-season, Lazarev was stopping puck right, left and centre to keep the Steelheads scoreless.

It wasn’t until their 39th shot on net and 10:32 minute mark of the third period that the Steelheads would finally be able to solve Lazarev. A powerful Spencer Watson shot deflected off a 67’s player’s stick and past Lazarev. But it would only be two minutes later until the 67’s striked again. Tyanulin scored his second of the game to make it 4-1.

The play continued to go back and forth with Lazarev keeping his team in it. Nathan Bastian scored and then Jared Steege regained the three-goal lead again. Finally, Michael McLeod would round out the scoring as the 67’s skated to a 5-3 win and force a game six back in Ottawa.

The 67’s will have to be much better and can’t expect to rely on Leo Lazarev like that again. Like tonight, they can expect to be shorthanded due to a rash of injuries and suspensions. Kyle Auger and head coach Jeff Brown will miss their second of an automatic two-game suspension as a result of Auger leaving the bench and getting in an altercation. Travis Barron, Ryan Orban and Kody Clark are all suffering from injuries and are unexpected to suit up. The good news is that Barron was healthy enough to travel with the team to Mississauga. Nic Hague has been suspended indefinitely for his altercation with Barron and will remain suspended until they do a full review.

Game six goes on Sunday at 2pm, just in time for fans to get back home or to the Canadian Tire Centre for the JUNO Awards. If necessary, game seven will be played on Tuesday night in Mississauga.


Game summary here.

Game highlights here.


PAST REVIEWS IN SERIES:
  • Game 1: Mississauga gets to Lazarev, winning 6-2
  • Game 2: Ottawa sets the pace and ties the series with a big 4-0 win
  • Game 3: Steelheads win back home-ice advantage with 2-1 win
  • Game 4: 67's on the ropes after fight night




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